Back in to AAPL!

I have been on the sidelines of the stock market for some time, riding out this massive downturn. Even though the market in general looks like a pretty nasty place, Apple has fallen back into my buying range again (~$145). I picked some up late Friday at $148.

My rationale is that there was little big news at the September launch of new iPods, which means (to me) that some big things are coming in October. Apple has a big back-to-school push that runs until the end of September, which I think is not only to take advantage of the Mac’s big mind-share gains in the laptop market (based on how shit Vista is), but also to deplete inventories of the existing models of MacBooks/Pros.

Once the 14-day return policy for laptops is over, expect Apple to announce the new fleet of MacBooks and MacBook Pros (around Oct. 14th). They are long overdue for a refresh, and there are a lot of Mac faithful (myself included) who are waiting to buy a new MacBook or MacBook pro once the new ones are launched. This waiting should lead to a surge in MacBook/Pro sales through the end of the year and the Christmas season.

The new iPods should also see strong sales over Christmas as well as the iPod touch which have all been refreshed.

The economy is a bit of concern, but I expect big-ticket purchases (homes, cars) will continue to be significantly impacted, with comfort items like music players maybe even seeing an uptick in sales. The MacBooks tend to attract a more affable, less price-sensitive consumer, so I don’t think they will see much impact over the next several months.

I expect to increase my position, perhaps doubling it, if the stock price continues to drop. My selling point is still around $185, but will wait to see 4Q 2008 results in the new year before selling.

The final variable which gives me pause, is Steve Job’s health. If he had to leave AAPL, I would expect a $50 drop in the stock price pretty quickly, as he is perceived as ‘the genius with a 1000’s hands’ (also known as a level-4 leader), which means that people think that Apple can only succeed under him. I am not sure this is actually true, but perception is what drives stock price.

Added Monday September 15th: I took advantage of the selloff sparked by Lehman Brothers to double my stake at $142.


2 Responses

  1. Oh, and another thing that has me worried:

    I really hope they reverse their trend towards blocking competitive applications on the iPhone store… I really think that having the best applications available will make them the most successful smart phone vendor out there.

  2. I am going to pop a few TUMS, and consider doubling my stake at today’s big discount. I am running a Facebook poll to see how sensitive Apple product purchasers are to the financial downturn, and the general Republican f**k-up of the US financial systems.

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