“Numerous seasoned retail analysts have already labeled the looming 2013 Holiday Season as the worst sales event of its kind since 2008. In 2008, Americans were coping with the fallout of a credit crisis that was the epicenter that jarred the real estate and stock markets into major corrections,” Kofi Bofah writes for Seeking Alpha. “This year, American consumers have been left to navigate after affects of a government shutdown, alongside the ongoing launch of The Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare. Earlier this year, Social Security payroll taxes increased from 4.2% to 6.2%. The additional taxes are most likely to affect the buying habits of middle-income Americans. Prospective Apple customers are now in the market for value, instead of performance, or whatever hipsters may believe to be cool.”

“A recent report out of investment bank Morgan Stanley warned retailers to ‘expect coal’ throughout this 2013 Holiday Season. Morgan Stanley analysts foreshadowed a slight 1.6% year-over-year increase in comparable store sales (Morgan Stanley estimates exclude J.C. Penney) through this Holiday Season and fourth calendar quarter,” Bofah writes. “According to Morgan Stanley, the projected scant growth in sales is solely due to an expansion of the population, rather than heightened consumer interest. The National Retail Federation did anticipate that gift spending per person would actually decline by 2.5% to $536.85 during the 2013 Holiday Season. Most likely, this coal-in-stocking undertow will also drag down Apple results.”

“A weak 2013 Holiday Season would foreshadow another year of flat earnings statistics at Apple. The stock market functions as a pricing mechanism to discount future growth, rather than immediate balance sheet snap shots,” Bofah writes. “As such, the $146.8 billion in cash and securities now lying fallow on the Apple books shall not be mistaken for game changing innovation. Apple may very well begin to trade like a utility through 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed.

Bofah doesn’t understand Apple customers.

The fact is that Apple customers are among the least likely to be affected by macroeconomic conditions to the point of forgoing Apple products during the holiday season. Worry about HP, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Samsung and Walmart, Kofi, not Apple.

In addition, Apple is a global company. While the U.S. is indeed an important market for Apple, it certainly isn’t the only market into which Apple sells.

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