Forbes Mag: Apple’s future is bright; names AAPL stock of the month for December

“Today, [Apple’s] balance sheet is pristine, with over $4 billion in cash and short-term investments, equivalent to more than $12 per share. Recent results have been disappointing, as they have been for most tech companies, with Apple posting a fiscal fourth quarter (ended 9/02) loss of $0.13 per share. Still, we think its future is bright. Its lineup of products, including Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar, is very exciting and the company’s recently opened retail stores sold over $100 million of merchandise and had 2.25 million visitors last quarter. Interestingly, the company has done a good job of managing Wall Street expectations, and the bar has been set low. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said recently, “Looking forward, we do not expect our industry to pick up anytime soon, though we’re hoping to help put a lot of iPods, iMacs and iBooks under trees this holiday season. With the stability of our rock-solid balance sheet, Apple will continue to invest through this downturn to create the industry’s most innovative products and best buying experience. Because we view it as an inexpensively priced (95% of sales) growth stock, we would buy Apple up to $16.33,” writes John Buckingham, atop his “Adviser Soapbox” while “Dreaming Of An I-Christmas” for “The Prudent Speculator” as excerpted by Full article here.

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