Doug Kass: Apple’s Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs

“Apple chief Tim Cook appeared on Mad Money last night for a lengthy interview with Jim ‘El Capitan’ Cramer, but his interview did nothing to dissuade me from my fundamental short thesis for the stock,” Doug Kass writes for TheStreet. “‘El Capitan’ asked hard-hitting questions last night that Apple’s CEO mostly whiffed at by delivering rather vague, glittering generalities and standard responses.”

“Of course, good investing stories don’t need to be sold — not by Cook, and not by Carl Icahn or any other current or former large Apple investor,” Kass writes. “And while iconic stocks die hard, paradigm-shifting businesspeople like late Apple CEO Steve Jobs are next to impossible to replace. We all remember Jobs, and one of last night’s messages to me was that Cook is no Jobs.”

“The current Apple CEO emphasized a long-term, bright outlook for Apple — but frankly, I’ve never heard a top manager not say that his or her company’s intermediate or long-term outlook looked bright,” Kass writes. “Nothing I heard changed my view that Apple’s product-upgrade cycle will now elongate after the unprecedented success of the iPhone 6. That was likely Apple’s last important product upgrade, and the company seems unlikely to ever repeat that success.”

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed.

“I see Apple’s competition as mounting in intensity — and representing a threat to sales, pricing, profits and margins,” Kass writes. “Stated simply, I don’t see any present innovation or prospective creativity at Apple that will bring Cook’s statements to reality for either the iPhone or the Apple Watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And Steve Jobs was no Tim Cook.

Doug Kass always pops up popping off when Apple is down. He’s an Apple short. And a fomenter. And nothing more.

The company faces a much more difficult business landscape, the competition is escalating, and that’s going to challenge profitability over the next couple of years. — Doug Kass of Apple Inc., January 30, 2013

36 months later, after banking over a hundred billion dollars in profits since Kass’ statement, Apple reaped a single quarter profit of $18.4 billion, the largest ever recorded by a single public corporation. This past quarter, Apple’s “Big Miss,” the company posted revenue of $50.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.5 billion. Those are each “billion” with a “b.” Compare those results to any other company on earth.

Doug Kass: I made a mistake on Apple – March 7, 2013
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Can the U.S. SEC prosecute Doug Kass over Apple stock split rumor? – February 27, 2013
Doug Kass: Apple to announce stock split on Wednesday – February 26, 2013
Doug Kass: Apple ‘is dead’ – January 30, 2013


  1. He’s right. Ignoring the fact that Tim Cook is glaringly incompetent does nothing for Apple’s short-term or long-term prospects.

    List of people who have given up on Tim Cook:

    Mac users

    Pro Mac users



    Long time Apple consumers

    The writing is on the wall, Tim Cook has failed at running Apple. Instead of leading and innovating at what was once the most famous tech company in the world, he’s milking products into stagnation by being lazy, creating worthless new products, and tarnishing Apple’s reputation with buggy software and services; as well as using the company as his personal soapbox in order to promote gay rights (which happens to be completely unrelated to his job title of CEO).

    He has been enabled for far too long. Now that the iPhone has been milked into stagnation with little if any innovation in the last 5-years, this stock and company is going down fast! Only one option left… fire the delusional gay rights activist.

    1. The arrogance you display is simply outstanding. You seem to believe you can speak for all Apple customers. You have failed at understanding the difference between the context within which Jobs functioned and the very different cultural and technological milieu and market that Cook is facing. You are like the 5-yr-old child who believes that life goes on forever just the way it did when you were 4. Grow up and shut up.

      1. He ignores all semblance of reality too, ignores how the company has grown massively in every way under Cook, still offering profits others can only dream of, that new innovative products can’t be magic-ed into reality and despite claiming he agrees with Kass states that the iPhone 6 was totally insignificant it seems, which is the very opposite to what Kass said. Probably best to do a modicum of research before making a fool of oneself, but hey these clowns keep on sticking their heads above the parapet.

    2. Saying that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs is not the same thing as saying that Tim Cook is “glaringly incompetent.” Of course, you appear to be the type of person that likes twisting things to suit your particular anonymous agenda.

      AAPL has declined before and will rise and fall in the future. In fact, this is not anywhere close to the worst decline of AAPL…not even in the top ten. And major declines in AAPL occurred while Jobs was CEO, too.

      There are macroeconomic events occurring that are impacting Apple and other companies. Apple is also in a normal refresh cycle with the iPhone 6s which cannot compare to the previous mad rush of the pent-up demand for the iPhone 6 when it was released. People responded to the larger form factors. So the Y/Y comparison is unreasonable and irresponsible in terms of predicting future performance.

      I own a small amount of AAPL and I plan to support the current BoD.

    3. Incompetence? A 10 billion dollar profit is incompetence. Exxon “only” made 1.8 billion. Apple Watch, a product that few people see as a success IS a success in that it is not only the top-selling smart watch, it vastly exceeded the sales of Rolex. I think it’s extremely hard to classify Apple or Tim Cook as a failure. Yes, there are areas they need to improve. But jeeez. How about a little perspective?

  2. Doug Kass can kiss my *ss. He’s about as well informed as that “oil expert” Dennis Gartman, who said recently that oil “would not see $44 again “in my lifetime” (it hit 44 recently, within a year of his proclamation).

    Any time you see an old guy claiming to be an expert, be very skeptical.

  3. Tim Cook isn’t Steve, and never will be.. that said, Tim needs to give up the activism and run the company…
    There has been virtually perpetual whining that Cook blew this release or that one, and one could say he has been lucky,.

    The Apple Watch release was poor, a couple botched IOS releases, MacOS issues, Lame Mac Mini upgrade, no new Mac’s except for the Macbook, which is a niche market at that.

    Must have been a real agony to release the 5SE..

    No Pro Mac anywhere in site.. The round tower was pretty nice, 3 years ago. How about trying totrying to stop cutting the customer out of the upgrade process, and make some Mac’s with some actual room for future growth and provide the options to do it as needed.. Perhaps Jony could use some of that cool external expertise to create a Mac that could last 10 years with easy updatability there “Tim”

    1. Can you show me any proof that Tim Cook’s “activism” has in any way hindered Apple or his ability to run the company? ANY? Or is it just your own bigotry speaking?

      Apple Watch was not the flop you think it was. The mistake is to assume every product should sell like the iPhone 6. But look at the watch market. Hell, just look at the Smart Watch market. Apple dominated it. Then look at the watch market. Apple sold more watches in its first year than they sold iPhones in its first year. Apple made about $6 billion from the watch. They made more than Rolex. Apple has every right to be please by their results so far.

      Check your bigotry and look at the facts. Apple is one of the most profitable companies on the planet, if not the most profitable. They raked in $10.5 billion in the last quarter.

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