As you might imagine -- seeing as I own the stock -- when I write about Apple, I tend to be optimistic about its growth prospects.
Of course, I'd like to think I see the world through non-rose-colored glasses. In the last few months, I've written about why the monolithic iTunes product worries me and what I see as the 10 biggest mistakes that Apple's made in the last 15 years since Steve Jobs returned to the company.
I'm used to the fact that when I write positive things about Apple, some readers invariably call me a fanboy or suggest that I'm on the payroll for Apple PR. I could care less.I'm going to keep calling it like I see it and hopefully -- over time -- people will judge that I've done a pretty good job at assessing investment reality. If I'm wrong, my reputation will take a hit for being bullish about Apple. I accept the fact that there are many Apple bears out there. They are welcome to put their views out there in the marketplace of ideas and let the public judge them over time. Rocco Pendola writes for TheStreet regularly and has been a strong Apple bear. In one recent article, Rocco wrote that Steve Jobs would have fired Tim Cook over the recent Maps product introduction. From my point of view, this is unlikely because (1) Steve hired Tim, (2) Steve picked Cook as his successor after having many years to prep for his possible death, and (3) according to Bloomberg last week, Steve approved the development and release of the Apple Maps product even with the likely bugs and initial criticism that might come with the first switch over. I like Rocco's stuff but I think it's fair to say he's been an Apple bear for some time. He wrote a post for Seeking Alpha -- last year I think -- where he outlined why he was selling his Apple in the $300s. It doesn't mean we should discount everything he says about Apple now, but that history is a valid data point to keep in mind. Many Apple bears have been wrong to this point in their calls -- and yet they continue to stick to their guns. That's understandable. I've done it myself. I went long Yahoo! (YHOO) in December 2010. Since then, I haven't made money on the trade but I haven't lost money. It's tied up my capital though and the market is up since then, so it's been a bad trade to this point. Yet, I'm still holding my shares because I think it will work out and pay back my opportunity cost losses in the next year. Another TheStreet contributor, Doug Kass, has been in the news recently because of a post he ran last week outlining the ten reasons for a bear case about Apple. I'll go over his list another time. I regularly read Doug's stuff and enjoy it, especially about market configurations. I also remember -- and most should -- his amazing market bottom call of March 2009. But I think his thinking on Apple has been muddled and off-base for some time. As others have pointed out -- and I think this is a totally fair criticism -- Doug's been bearish on Apple since:
A week after the iPhone's introduction in January 2007 when the stock was at $94
Since June 2009, when the stock was at $139
Since October 2011, when the stock was at $422
Since February 2012, when the stock was at $502
And now since Oct. 3 when the stock was at $665