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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AAPL market inefficiency

The craziness of Apple continues. If its rallying, the market players keep talking about the rally. If its declining, thats all we hear about too.

Noise aside, and lets look at recent developments in AAPL:

1. Apple has shown it can successfully create and transition products without Steve Jobs. (Meaning the company culture is very much alive.) We see this in the iPad Mini and iTunes 11.  

The iPad Mini is selling very well. And iTunes 11 has received pretty good reviews

3. China will be the largest mobile market, and Apple dominates there. (tablets)

The only known negative for AAPL is that yr-over-yr comparison growth will not be as extreme as the past two years. But the market never rewarded AAPL when it was growing at a +85% earnings clip. Instead over the past two years the market has allowed AAPL to trade with its cash-growth.

The stock price is currently around 550. The above is projecting a modest $8B cash growth from the last quarter. (The $8B is due to historic cash generation from Q4-to-Q1. But the number really should be higher this go-around because of new product launches and expanded reach of those products.)

Based on cash-generation, AAPL's stock price is to be near 650-700. Based on historical trailing PE ranges (around 13.5-14.5) AAPL should be trading near low/mid 600s. (And if looking at the cash-flow, excluding cash and just the businesses, AAPL's stock should be near high 600s/low 700s.)

Any way I look at it, AAPL's stock merits a +600 handle, not a 500 handle.  Regardless of current action, as the quarter begins to end, AAPL's stock will begin to recognize the above.

A consolidation from the recent run was merited. A +20 point decline is not.  AAPL is currently very oversold.

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