NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Among other things, I was called a buffoon when I announced in April that I was still holding shares of Apple (AAPL - Get Report). This was even though the stock had just broken below $400 to reach its 52-week low of $385. Every Apple bear and his mother came out demanding the resignation of Tim Cook, even though they couldn't tell you why.
On Tuesday, billionaire activist Carl Icahn, who,
according to published reports
, has taken a position in Apple worth as much as $1 billion, effectively told the bears to go fly a kite.
Icahn, who knows a thing or two about effective corporate management, essentially signaled what Apple supporters everywhere already knew:
This is a new Apple
and Cook is not going anywhere. Apple bears, meanwhile, who could never muster up any real argument for Cook's dismissal other than to bring up "legacy issues," are stunned and silent.
Thinking they matter more than they do, these bears, who have shown no ability to walk and chew gum at the same time, completely missed Monday's announcement that Apple would release its next-generation iPhone in September. By focusing on Apple's perceived deficits, with no counter-glance at the company's future, numbers don't appear to matter to them.
Now, Carl Icahn, that's a numbers guy, one who can really push the needle. So, anyone from this point forward who says Apple has no idea what it's doing, that person is essentially saying he/she knows better than Carl Icahn.
As a long-time Apple shareholder and not the "fair weather" type, Tuesday gave me a sense of vindication. The Street was convinced Apple's run was over, even though Apple had just posted an earnings report that was better than expected. Bears insisted nobody was buying iPhones even though Apple exceeded sales estimates. You can't reason with them because numbers don't matter.
I'm not going to pretend this is the same Apple that was posting insane margins three years ago. Accordingly, it makes even less sense to try and hang on to a period of time that was captured in Steve Jobs' biography. He was not Apple, just like Babe Ruth was not baseball. Jobs made Apple better -- there's no debating that fact. But Babe Ruth's records were subsequently broken. The National Basketball Association has LeBron James after Michael Jordan retired. The National Football League has Tom Brady after Joe Montana left. Similarly, Apple is now in the hands of Cook.