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Apple Fell Victim to Index Funds

Uncertainty is the principle reason people develop fears, and there was no shortage of that in this saga. Apple itself contributed to it, by just being Apple. That is the company's practice -- keeping mum about future products, particularly when they are about to enter or create a new market. Apple created this communications vacuum, and the unfortunate effect was sleazeballs like Samsung getting sucked in through reverse osmosis.

In this new environment, which is largely "perceived and only tangential to the truth," as Ken Segall, author of Insanely Simple, put it in a talk I had with him the other day, Apple was forced to tip its hand in the absence of new products. So, the company decided a stock-buyback program and dividend boost were the best solution. Now, I can't argue against this move because it solves a lot of problems from an investor point of view.

It increases the value of Apple stock, which creates demand. It positions Apple as a more mature, value-oriented company that will entice index funds to reinvest. It rewards faithful long-term investors and a whole new group of value-oriented investors. It quells the incessant nagging of many analysts that Apple is hoarding cash, and it generally creates a lot of good will.

Well, with this scenario, and with the things Cook said, alluding to big things to come, I couldn't think of a better time to jump in to Apple. It's cheap, and still the best-run company in the world, with the most desirable products, and a whole lot more to come.

Once the vacuum is filled with new products and a reinvigorated ad campaign, Samsung will wither away, and analysts will be able to say I told you so. Investors? They'll be able to chuck the antacid.

-- Written by Ernie Varitimos, author of the Apple Investor blog.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Ernie Varitimos has a long history with Apple as an investor, trader and consumer of its technology. He started his career as a rocket scientist and has spent the past 25 years driving, controlling and influencing technology in the financial industry. Ernie is a former hedge fund manager and current futures trader.
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