Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Daily Note - AAPL vs AAPL

I waited a few days to let the media hyping recede before writing my opinion of the recent announcement and outlook on AAPL stocks and company. I republished some of my previous articles about my thoughts on the matter some as old as 2 years, and in reviewing them I've decided to, pretty well, stay with my original thinking. Here's why.

As companies go, AAPL's brand is still Steve Jobs. Nothing more can prove my thinking that what I've read over and over again on the stream to boil it down it was: "I have to thank Steve Jobs for my wealth; his genius at visualization, innovation and production of what he promised."

The media was tripping over one and another announcer to sing about his praises and all about what he had contributed to the modern world. All well deserved, yet I didn't hear anyone say that he is a master marketer, which has a lot to do with what he achieved. All you have to do is listen to any of his presentations to be convinced of it and all you have to do is study the reactions to his appearance or lack thereof to be convinced about the import of the man. Hence his importance to the brand, Apple Inc.

As I pointed out in previous articles, brand and inventor have had many close ties before, as has the success or failure of such once the name behind the product departs, but in my opinion, this will be the first in a modern age of fast news, opinion and information via computers that Steve Jobs has helped to develop. Nothing will travel faster than the announcement of his death, as nothing traveled faster that the announcement of his retirement and his leaves of absence afore.

The halting of trades prior to this announcement was preceded by another halt when the first time he announced a leave of absence. That was more dramatic than any other time since, including the one we witnessed just last week. Yet who can gauge the next halt of trading for AAPL?

Although the resignation of Steve Jobs caused an immediate jolt, the timing was perfect because of the upcoming release of an awaited product, and the fact that his input will continue as long as he's able, from home. The fact that his products enable anyone to stay in touch and be on top of the game is immeasurable, but it does not factor in the real fact of Steve Jobs' health and the recent unfortunate public display of a photograph taken of him 2 days after announcement,  nor his possible death.  The next announcemnt may be days or months and I hope years from now, which no one can foretell and I'm sure they will keep under wraps as long as possible. For the man, I hope for the best, yet I'm also a realist and realize that not all scenarios end well.

Jobs put publicly his confidence in his successor, Tim Cook, and he sweetened it by a hefty "better not fail me" stock deal. Yet the next 18 months of Apple's performance will be actually on the back of products already planned by Jobs. So how far do we have to go to measure the new leader? To be fair to Cook the best scenario would be to allow time for his performance to shine in order for the following of AAPL to continue.

Cook will need time away from Jobs to prove himself  and only then can  the probability of his leadership be gauged but if Steve Jobs dies before, the confidence in AAPL may prove to be short lived in the short run at least.

Happy Trading, Living and Dancing

The Daily Pick - AAPL

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