Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Counter: The Stockmasters

In all fairness to the Apple (AAPL) lover's out there whose feeling I may have hurt, here is a pro-apple article from Frank Lara Jr. at the Stockmasters

The iPhone. I could end the article right there, you've all seen those commercials, and they are nothing short of amazing. As consumers, we all know that the first new releases of the iPhone might be buggy, they'll figure out the quirks, then on about the third release it's going to be a stellar product. But let's face it, this is Apple (AAPL) we are talking about and everything from their MacBooks to iPods are great performing inventions. Those commercials for Macs vs. PC's really hit home and it's true, how often do you hear about people complaining about their Macs or the blue screen of death?

Last week UBS reiterated Apple Inc. (AAPL) with a "buy" rating while Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the stock to $160 per share. Joseph Hargett at pointed out that the Dow Jones Newswire listed several (14 to be exact) large blocks of AAPL shares crossing the tape last week and all of the blocks numbered 100,000 shares or more. Everyone is getting excited about the iPhone launching at the end of the month, and I'm betting the powers that be send Apple's stock to $160 sooner than we all think.

Personally I think buying Apple's stock is ridiculous at this point, but just when you think the stock is going to fall they release another product, get an upgrade, or Steve Jobs parts the Red Sea and everyone cheers and throws money at him. I like the plays from the iPhone that include AT&T (T) and Research in Motion (RIMM), everyone on Wall Street has mentioned those picks including Todd Sullivan who wrapped it up beautifully with a ribbon on top (read Todd's reasoning).

AT&T (T) is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone and will gain wireless subscribers hand over foot. Just wait until AT&T starts selling more services from the iPhone and we will all watch AT&T morph into the largest corporation on the planet that eventually builds the Death Star. So that would make AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson the Emperor and CFO Richard Linder be Darth Vader - I knew they had it in them.

AT&T builds the DeathStar

If AT&T is the "Dark Side", sign me up for Sith training school (along with's Patrick Byrne) because it's going to be a galactic-kegger (thank you Rip Torn from MIB) this year and next at AT&T thanks to the iPhone partnership.
Research in Motion's (RIMM) products will serve as an alternative to customers not on AT&T's (T) wireless network. The devices also sell for less than $200, versus iPhone's incredible $500 to $600 price tag. RIMM could also benefit from any disappointment or delays with the iPhone. Let me add the mighty Jim Cramer (the true Sith Lord) has given his blessing on AT&T and Research in Motion as iPhone plays, so believe me America, it's on.

So Apple shares sit at around $125 a share, it's hard to believe isn't it? But they are unlike any company in their field, their technology, innovation and products have us all screaming for more. If they build a Mac compatible blender I bet they could take out the Juiceman overnight (wouldn't the infomercial's be fun for that?) Come June 29th, we all know shares of Apple will not be falling on that day, oh no, they'll be screaming. I would love to short Apple right now, but it's a losing battle, maybe a year from now, but Apple Inc. is a hard hitting technology machine that is going to push its stock to new levels come July and August.

Using the power of the Force, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster predicted Apple will sell 45 million iPhones by 2009. Sound a bit much? I don't think Pet Rocks sold that fast back in the 70's but I could be wrong. Steve Jobs has projected sales of 10 million iPhones in its first year, so it's reasonable to say the iPhone is going to do well, even if sales come in below expectations. Then again, iPhone sales may blow everyone away like the superlaser from the Death Star, it could happen -- do you think Steve Jobs has plans for the iDeathStar?


Better trademark that name ASAP. As much as I hate to say it, Apple is on fire, and will continue to be for months to come. But just like any fire, all it takes is a little water to cool the blaze, and you can bet Microsoft (MSFT) is standing in the corner with a big bucket of water.

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