From A to V: Why I'm Buying More Apple and Vodafone

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you asked me right now which two stocks I'd want to buy more of, the answer would be a no-brainer.

In alphabetical order I'll start with one of the favorite among numerous billionaires including activist investor Carl Icahn, and that's Apple ( AAPL), the most valuable publicly traded company in America.

In spite of all the supposedly worrisome news and events, the stock market is rocking and rolling after its August snooze. Some news makes me snooze, but not what Apple is about to unveil on Tuesday.

On Monday, analysts from brokerage firm Cowen and Co. predicted the purveyor of iPhones and iPads will increase its revenue as it unveils more products and services during the coming year.

In a research report, Cowen analysts Timothy Arcuri, Kenneth Lee and Bryan Prohm claim investors have been underestimating the lucrative potential of Apple's best products.

The firm maintained its outperform rating on Apple's stock, as well as a $550 price target. That helped shares to rally to almost $508 before cooling down to just above $506.

The reason I bought more Apple on Monday and added to the slightly lower-than-normal average daily volume is partly because I'm expecting some positive surprises when the company speaks Tuesday.

I'm placing a good deal of hope that a distribution deal with China Mobile ( CHL) will ignite the stock higher. I'm not expecting a big pop if the announcement comes, but it may add another $10 a share.

If Apple announces a deal with China Mobile of selling the iPhone 5c but says it will be delayed a couple of months, I'll wish I'd waited until after the news because this could disappoint traders who may sell Apple's stock.

The shares have recently had support between $486 and $490, and so I'm not expecting a big correction if the company doesn't "sell the sizzle." In fact, I may take the opportunity to buy more.

That's because I think between now and the middle of next year Icahn will have his way with Apple and figure out how to bring the share price up to his estimated current fair value of around $600.

I'm bracing for whatever comes on Tuesday, but even if Apple and China Mobile isn't a done deal, investors will likely become focused on holiday sales of the phone, with pent-up demand in the West.

When it comes to Vodafone ( VOD), I'm hoping to buy more shares at around Monday's low of $32.89.

In case you've been climbing Mt. Everest or visiting the orbital space station, Vodafone sold its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to its partner Verizon ( VZ) for a jaw-dropping $130 billion U.S. dollars.

Vodafone shareholders are in for the payday of a lifetime. About $84 billion of the total will be given to shareholders, $60 billion in Verizon stock and about $24 billion in cash will be distributed directly to Vodafone's fortunate shareholders.

Based on my own research, it appears the dividend payout will be eligible for the most favorable tax treatment for U.S. shareholders. Yes, the whole enchilada, Verizon shares and cash is likely to be considered a "qualified dividend."

If that is correct, the fair market value of Verizon's stock and all that $24 billion in cash will be classified as "qualified" dividend income. That would mean most investors will be taxed at a 15% rate.

There are some holding period requirements that look reasonable. If I'm not mistaken, shareholders have to hold their Vodafone stock for a 121-day holding period that starts 60 days before the ex-dividend date. That means don't plan on selling your Vodafone stock before the 121-day period is over.

Another great reason to like Vodafone shares is the company plans an 8% to 11% increase in its dividend during fiscal 2014. With the stock at $33 a share, the yield is already 5%.

Verizon shares will be a nice way to be paid as well. Verizon closed at $45.91 on Monday which means its current $2.12 per year dividend payout translates to a yield of more than 4.6%. The company's directors recently increased the dividend for the seventh year in a row.

The Vodafone sale of its Verizon Wireless shares is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. The money the company keeps will empower its focus on its primary markets in Europe and allow Vodafone to go after new growth opportunities in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

To pique my hunger for more shares of Vodafone, there's even a rumor circulating that it may itself become a takeover target. Some analysts have suggested AT&T ( T) may be tempted to acquire Vodafone to expand its business internationally.

In the past, AT&T has mentioned an interest in purchasing European mobile businesses. I'm wondering if AT&T might offer Vodafone a hefty sum for some of its global assets after the Verizon deal closes.

Any way you slice these two pies, the sum of the parts is greater than most of us can wrap our brains around. But before you rush to buy shares of Apple and Vodafone, I have a vital reminder.

I've been concluding my last few articles with a suggestion that it's prudent, no matter how robust the company and its stock, to give yourself some stock market risk management by setting up a trailing stop loss alert for each position you own.

If you wonder if you need a trailing stop loss alert on every stock position you own, you will benefit from clicking on the link above and deciding for yourself.

The key to success as a stock investor is to buy the best, buy low and have a disciplined exit strategy even before you buy. Stick to your exit strategy no matter what.

This investing approach offers you the potential for remarkable upside gains with stocks like Apple and Vodafone while managing your downside risk just in case a worst-case scenario unfolds.

At the time of publication the author was long Apple, AT&T and Vodafone.

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

Marc Courtenay is the founder and owner of Advanced Investor Technologies, LLC, as well as the publisher and editor of www.ChecktheMarkets.com.

Courtenay holds a Master's of Science degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, and is a former senior vice-president of Investments for two major brokerage firms. He's been a fiercely independent investment "investigator" and a consulting contributor to the investment publishing world for over 30 years. In addition to his role as an investment publisher and analyst, he serves as a marketing consultant to the investment media industries.

In his role as a financial editor, he specializes in unique investment strategies, overlooked stock investments, energy and resource companies, precious metals, emerging growth companies, the prudent use of option strategies,real estate related opportunities,wealth preservation, money-saving offers, risk management, tax issues, as well as "the psychology of investing". Because of his training and background in Clinical Counseling and Psychology, he enjoys writing about investor behavior, the ¿herd mentality, how to turn investment mistakes into investment breakthroughs and the stock market's behavioral trends and patterns.


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