NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As painful for many as Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report decline from $700 was, it's fascinating to note that not only was iStock up for 2012, it increased in value four out of the last four years.
Apple turned decidedly bearish on the daily chart, but did you know that Apple on the weekly and monthly charts is still in a bullish trend? On the weekly chart, the 60- and 90-period moving averages are above a rising 200-period moving average.
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If you consider the monthly chart, the pattern appears even more bullish. Not only are the faster- moving averages climbing and above the 200-period moving average, but the shares have remained above the moving averages since 2009.
The weekly and especially the monthly charts should be given more weight than a daily chart. Unless you're actively buying and selling shares (or maybe hedging with options), you may not even need to look at a daily chart.
For true long-term investors, the daily chart offers increased noise and distractions that may take your eye off the real prize. If you can, pull up a monthly chart and look at it while I highlight some key figures. I think you will find any doubt generated as a result of supposed price weakness while the company produces record amounts of profits quickly disappears.
On the monthly chart, Apple closed above $200 for the first time near the end of 2009. This is the same time that the gross profit chart also reaches its highest level. Two years later, Apple's stock has doubled to close over $400, but the gross profit isn't keeping up. The gross profit is "only" about $20 billion with per-share earnings near $14.
What this tells us is that slower growth was already priced in at the end of 2011. At the end of 2012, all earnings growth was removed from the price, and it's clear that investors started pricing in declining growth. Once the stock fell under $600 we started reading "value investment and Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs."
I think the naysayers are right on both fronts. I think Apple IS a value investment, and I agree that Cook isn't Jobs. Still, if you believe either one is abominable, you may miss out on one of the greatest investment entries you will see in years. Let's start with the investment thesis.
You can buy Apple as an investment or even as a safe and tranquil dividend printing machine. That of course totally ignores Apple's growth in revenue and earnings. You might as well take advantage of the uninformed seller offering shares at an earnings multiple of 11.
If the seller is correct and the growth engine located at 1 Infinite Loop stops growing, you bought a stock at a fair price and you break even. If, however, the panicked seller is wrong, and Apple produces a phenomenal product (which they have been known to do from time to time), Apple could blow the doors off of the 2014 estimates.
Apple is as close as you can get to heads you win, tails you break even.
How can anyone say anything negative about Tim Cook? This truly blows my mind. The individual is operating the most profitable enterprise in the history of mankind after being handpicked by Steve Jobs, and there is something negative to be said? Please, most of the people who are negative about Tim Cook would beg to have a chance to clean his bathroom.
Steve Jobs didn't run Apple by himself and neither does Tim Cook. They provide leadership and vision, and there is zero evidence that Tim Cook isn't providing the singularly best vision possible. Yes, the shares retraced to provide a buying dip, that's what stocks do. But in the entire time Cook has been at the helm, the monthly chart remained bullish and the weekly price hasn't even touched the 200- period moving average, must less break below it.
For long-term buy-and-forget investors, anything under $500 is a gift that you won't want to admit later that you didn't see. Anything under $450 is an exceedingly gratifying gift, the kind you don't re-gift to that supposed friend you wish would move away.
Author does not hold a position in any stock mentioned.