The Bull Market Report ("BMR") has ridden Apple (AAPL) to huge gains over the last several year (up nearly 800% in two stints), having a cost basis near $60 after initially adding the stock to its Recommended List in March 2006.
Recently, though, the stock has been under pressure, falling from its highs of over $700. The question is has Apple lost its luster or is the stock now a screaming "Buy?"
In a recently published special report, BMR looks at the reasons behind the sell-off, recent channel check data, the power of the Apple brand, potential catalysts and risks, and the stock's valuation.
Here is just a small sample from the report:
When the company guided for a -400 basis point sequential decline in gross margin in the December quarter to 36%, it set off some investor alarms. Apple, however, reminded investors that the margins on the new products it introduced are lower than earlier versions, including for the iPhone 5. It was aggressive on the iPad Mini pricing and it lowered the prices for the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 4, which is another page from its well-worn playbook to keep sales of older models humming. The ramp associated with the numerous recent products adds some short-term cost pressure as well, but management expects demand will offset those pressures over times.
What is not happening is a significant escalation in supply chain costs. There was an earlier news story that Samsung was trying to raise the price of chips it supplies to Apple, but the Korean company denied it. Apple and Samsung have been battling each other over patent issues but they maintain a commercial relationship, with Samsung making the Apple-designed A6 chip that powers the iPhone 5. It would be tough for Samsung to try to squeeze Apple on its own chip since it could switch the manufacturing to another supplier.
Meanwhile, analysts see component costs coming down. ...
BMR also has recent coverage of a number of other tech stocks, including Research in Motion (RIMM), Qualcomm (QCOM), Splunk (SPLK), F5 Networks (FFIV), Tibco (TIBX), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), and many others.
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