“Apple Inc. has had a bit of an underwhelming year, which has led many investors to wonder if the company’s momentum over the past decade is beginning to wane under Tim Cook’s leadership, particularly his strategy of generating debt against low interest rate bonds,” Chris Dier-Scalise writes for Benzinga. “On Tuesday, Marketfy options expert Nic Chahine joined Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep morning show to talk about his thoughts on Tim Cook’s Apple and whether the company will be able to break out of its recent funk.”

“Citing a lack of risk taking and persistent faith in its products, Chahine’s impression of Apple under Tim Cook was far from flattering. ‘I have little faith in Tim Cook. They say he’s a good operator, but he’s been shown to be a little gutless in his foresight as far as anything new. I think they’re missing the innovation, or maybe cockiness, that came with Steve Jobs,'” Dier-Scalise writes. “Chahine’s main criticism of Apple’s recent performance had less to do with the company’s stable of products and more to do with the long-term leadership within it. ‘I’ve always said: give Apple to Bezos and it would be a monster again.'”

“Since taking over Apple following Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, Tim Cook has leveraged nearly $80 million in debt to investors into bonds. Chahine made clear this short-term strategy will limit Apple’s future liquidity, ‘The more debt you have the less free cash flow you have,'” Dier-Scalise writes. “While he emphasized that Apple still looked technically sound in the short term, it has barriers ahead, ‘The future is not as sure as it was, long term. Apple has the potential to buy the #1 position in any industry they want, and they’re losing it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple still has plenty of cash on hand and the ability “to buy the #1 position in any industry they want” (regulators willing, of course).

As for someone other than Tim Cook as Apple’s CEO: We can’t say that the thought has never crossed our minds, especially lately. We don’t like thinking of Apple as lazy, late, and uninspired, but, well, there you have it. We hope 2017 sees Apple executing on all cylinders again!