“As Apple’s share price has fallen over the last four months, dropping some 25% percent after first breaking the $700 mark in September, I’ve again become interested in the stock,” Vince Martin writes for Seeking Alpha. “The fundamentals, of course, remain outstanding. Even an AAPL bear would admit that, on a purely numerical basis, Apple looks cheap. At Friday’s close of $520.30, the company’s trailing P/E sits below 12. This despite revenue and earnings growth of 44 and 59 percent, respectively in fiscal 2012 (ending in September). The company’s cash hoard of $121 billion could buy all but 43 of the world’s publicly listed companies, including Amazon.com.”
“Those risks are real. As dominant as Apple is now, the tech world — particularly its consumer segment — is a highly competitive sphere, and leaders can turn to laggards exceedingly quickly,” Martin writes. “Barely more than two years ago, RIM’s Blackberry was the leading smartphone platform in the U.S.; it’s now a distant third.”
MacDailyNews Take: RIM is Dead Company Walking precisely because of Apple.
Martin writes, “The idea that Hewlett-Packard and Dell would even consider exiting the consumer PC business would have been laughable just a few short years ago.”
MacDailyNews Take: Yet, it’s now reality – because of Apple.
Martin writes, “So, how can Apple’s enterprise value fall to $300 per share, or roughly $282 billion? The same way any other stock’s value can fall:”
1. Multiple Compression
2. The “Black Swan.”
3. Portfolio Re-Balancing
4. Below-Average Earnings
“In short, I do understand the bear case for Apple, and I think the risk of it becoming just another tech company — if not a fallen star like RIM, Hewlett-Packard, or Nokia — is material to the stock. But so much of it is priced in at current levels, giving the stock a substantial downside cushion… All told, the risk of a fall at Apple like those of RIMM (140 to 10), HPQ (65 to 16), or NOK (40 to 4) seems sharply remote. Even a drop to 400 from 520 seems to require outright struggles that Apple has managed to avoid for most of the past decade,” Martin writes, “With an apparent downside cushion, investors can then focus on the upside, which remains vast… The risks appear to be acceptable, as a drop to $400 would require a confluence of unlikely events.”
Much more in the full article here.