Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.How Far Can Gold Price Go? - Bob_Kirtley
3.If You Miss Buying Gold – You Will Regret, it Later - Chris_Vermeulen
4.US Dollar Double Top, Gold Prospects Brightening Rapidly - Clive_Maund
5.Gold Price, Mining Stocks Rocket Higher - Zeal_LLC
6.US Economy Slides One Step Further Towards A Recession - Dr_David_J_Harris
7.Stock Market S&P, NAS Best, Most Reliable Answers Come From The Market And You - Michael_Noonan
8.UK Interest Rates, Economy Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
9.David Cameron Humiliated in Poland Over Refusal to Stop Taking UK Benefits, BrExit or Super State? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.2016 - Gold & Silver Rising: A Gold And Silver Bottom May Be In - Darryl_R_Schoon
Last 5 days
France CAC40 Stock Market Technical Outlook - 13th Feb 16
Potential Stocks Bear Market Uptrend Underway - 13th Feb 16
HUI Gold Stocks …Meet Me at The Bottomz Inn ? - 13th Feb 16
Is This the Debt Bubbles Last Rattle? - 12th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Upside Targets - 12th Feb 16
Stock Market Observations - 12th Feb 16
Will Capital Controls Return? - 12th Feb 16
Gold, Gold Stocks, and the End Game - 12th Feb 16
Canadian Dollar Now Even Less of a Haven from US Dollar Collapse Than Before - 12th Feb 16
The Stock Market Dow Elevator; 18, 17, 16.... - 12th Feb 16
Will Harry Dent Eat Crow on His $700 Gold Price Prediction? - 12th Feb 16
Where to Hide Your Money From Reckless Governments - 12th Feb 16
The War on Cash is About to Go into Hyperdrive - 11th Feb 16
More Bankruptcy For Your Retirement Portfolio - 11th Feb 16
2016 - Gold & Silver Rising: A Gold And Silver Bottom May Be In - 11th Feb 16
Gain Trading Confidence by Improving Your Elliott Wave Analysis Skills - Video - 11th Feb 16
With A Gloomy Start To 2016, A Bust Seems Just Around The Corner - 11th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Video - 10th Feb 16
World Markets Are in Sync - 10th Feb 16
If You Miss Buying Gold – You Will Regret, it Later - 10th Feb 16
The Fed Doesn't have a Clue! - 10th Feb 16
How Far Can Gold Price Go? - 10th Feb 16
It's Stock Market Panic Time! - 9th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Picks for Patient Pickers - 9th Feb 16
Oil Price Collapse U.S. Recession Odds 2016 - 9th Feb 16
Preparing for Crisis - It's About Risk Mitigation and Capital Preservation - 9th Feb 16
Top Silver Mining CEO: Don't Laugh, We Could See Silver $100+ - 8th Feb 16
Gold, Investment Leadership Changes Permanent? - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market Panic Decline Begins... - 8th Feb 16
How to Save Money By Growing Your Own Homegrown Tomatoes Indoors From Seeds - 8th Feb 16
US Economy Slides One Step Further Towards A Recession - 8th Feb 16
Gold Bear Market Bottom : Mr. Bear has left the PM Sector for Greener Pastures - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market At Important Support - 8th Feb 16
David Cameron Humiliated in Poland Over Refusal to Stop Taking UK Benefits, BrExit or Super State? - 8th Feb 16
Why Crude Oil Prices Could Continue FALLING From Here - 7th Feb 16
Stock Market S&P, NAS Best, Most Reliable Answers Come From The Market And You - 7th Feb 16
Stocks Bear Market Continues - 7th Feb 16
Silver COT Paving Way for Sustained Upside Breakout Sharp Rally - 7th Feb 16
US Dollar Double Top, Gold Prospects Brightening Rapidly - 7th Feb 16
Gold And Silver - Is A Bottom In? Nothing Confirmed - 7th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Something has Changed - 6th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - 6th Feb 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Global Financial Crisis 2016

Apple's Slump, Google's Surge, and the Curse of 'Forced Innovation'

Companies / Tech Stocks Mar 10, 2013 - 03:09 PM GMT

By: Submissions

Companies

Cetin Hakimoglu writes: After a brief reprieve in late January, Apple is back to affirming Newton's observation that apples do indeed fall. I remember in December 2012 reading about how it was 'tax related' selling or funds booking profits after a large run. Or that Apple was cheap and undervalued. Apparently the tax selling went into overtime as Apple began 2013 with a rotten quarter and by the end of January became the worst performing stock on the S&P 500, having under-performed the index by a staggering 40% since peaking at $700. And a PE ratio of 10 apparently isn't 'cheap enough' to placate Wall St.


Yes, Apple sells tens of millions of units and will continue to do at least for the foreseeable future, but P&G sells lots of toothpaste, Microsoft lots of software, and GE lots of turbines. Is there much enthusiasm for those companies? Not really, if measured by stock price. Stocks tend to trade on the enthusiasm for the underlying business model, not valuations. This is why buying stocks on a low PE ratio is often a losing strategy. Wall St. has a predilection towards companies that are transforming/creating new industries and or have no viable competitors such as Google (transforming advertising, organizing information), Linkedin (transforming the HR department), Facebook (social networking, internet advertising), Ebay (online payments/commerce) and Amazon (eCommerce, cloud), and Salesforce (cloud based enterprise apps) that not only have rapid growth, but are deemed key players in the burgeoning 21st century digital economy. I would also add the private companies Twitter (tansforming the consumption and dissemination of news) and AirBNB (online travel, lodging).

The industry of selling pretty looking electronics has a cloudy future for two reasons; consumer tastes tend to be erratic and consumers have a plethora of options for electronics versus Google or Facebook where there are no major competitors; and second that hardware is vulnerable to price margin compression due to competition. Not only are cloud computing, cloud based enterprise software, mobile payments, social media, and online advertising rapidly growing industries, the key players in these industries have few, if any, viable competitors and endless unimpeded growth on the horizon.

To make matters worse, slow growing companies such Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, and General Electric have yet very stable, predictable business models - with enough time to build the trust of major long term investors, in contrast to Apple which seems to be in the middle of maelstrom of uncertainty with an ever present cacophony of chatter about lowered estimates.

Looking back, hardware stocks typically have a growth spurt of around 10-15 years before tapering off or outright collapsing, packaged software (MSFT) is longer and intangible software/internet applications (Google, Safesforce, Amazon) may be even longer, still. Dell had a 15 year run from 1985 to 2000. Compaq, Gateway, and Acer lasted around 12 years; Research in Motion 10 years. Apple is approaching its 13th year on its second run; its first run from 1978 to around 1993 lasted about 15 years. Google is still going strong since 1998, and twienty years from now it's conceivable that anyone using a desktop or mobile device will be served some form of a Google ad or using a Google based operating system, while using LinkedIn, Paypal, twitter, and Facebook that will be hosted on a cloud server, powered by cloud applications.

The question being asked on blogs and financial TV is "Can Apple still innovate?", but does it matter? The fact we're asking such a question is bad news for Apple because if there's one thing Wall St. hates-even more than regulation and taxes- it's forced innovation. Wall St. looks favorably upon innovation if the company can choose to innovate at its own leisurely pace versus 'forced innovation', which is when a company has to innovate to fend off competitors and or increase revenue or profits. Competition and changing consumer sentiment is forcing Apple to frantically introduce lower margin models and new product categories in an effort to be relevant. The mass realization by funds that Apple is in the bad situation of being forced to innovate precludes it from returning to Wall St's good graces, even if Apple does manage to innovate even more than it already is. Look at LinkedIn, Craigslist, Paypal, Twitter, Google, and Facebook as examples of sites haven't changed much in the years, except for incremental adjustments for usability and spam reduction.

Truth of the matter is, Apple has innovated much more than Google that upon going public in 2004 had already established Adwords and Adsense, but no major revenue generating products since then (maybe Gmail and Android are exceptions, but these generate little revenue). Same for Microsoft which developed windows in the 80's, and continues to generate the bulk of its revenue to this very day from windows and office based products. Apple, on the other hand, developed two classes of products since 2004; the iPhone, the iPad, and maybe the iPad Mini and the iCloud. Look at Best Buy, which is being forced to innovate against Amazon, and the stock has been obliterated. Or RIMM, which debuted a tablet and new iterations of blackberry with little avail to its falling stock price. Wall St.'s perfect company is a black box that perpetually prints money, only needs occasional polishing, and has no competing boxes. Google fits the bill perfectly, and that's why Google stock will go to $1200 within two years as AAPL will keep falling.

Cetin Hakimoglu

tradelite@yahoo.com

Copyright © 2013 Cetin Hakimoglu - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History