What's going on? The market doesn't think Apple can keep things going at the rate they're going. The market assumes that Google is going to blow them out of the water with Android, that Amazon (AMZN) is about to out-do them in sales of content, that Microsoft is about to stage a comeback, and that Apple's future is less vital to its past.
That's possible, but it's all speculation. Apple is still opening Apple stores, it's as The Inquirer notes diversifying away from its dependence on Samsung for chips, and it has expenses under control.
The $50 billion in buybacks will, over the course of the next year, take out about 10% of the common. This means an increase in earnings per share is baked in, if the company even matches its current execution.
From its current price, then, I think Apple has at least another 20% to run before it reaches a market value even somewhat equivalent to its main competitors. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd still rather own Apple than any other tech stock on the board right now.At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL, GOOG, and IBM. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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