Daily Archives: January 24, 2013

I No Longer Trust APPLE (AAPL). Yesterday’s Results Were Rigged. Management Trying To Drive Stock Price Down!


Anura Guruge

Apple and I go back a long time, and we have had, even by my weird standards a very strange relationship.

I have owned AAPL, in various amounts, since 2007 — when my then 83-year old neighbor, who alas died a few weeks later, put the notion in my head that I should buy AAPL when he told me: ‘I told my granddaughter to buy even 1 share of Apple if she could’! He, an ex-FAA airport inspector, was a very shrewd and canny man. It was February 2007, it was cold, there was snow on the ground, and he had come to visit me in his new motorized chair. He was a riot.

So, I really can’t complain about AAPL. In 2007 I bought it for less than $100. Plus, over the years I have played a lot of options on it.

But, we don’t have any Apple products. In 1998, I had 8 Macs in the house and I was a huge proponent of Apple and hated Windows. But, because of some seminars I was doing, where I had to use Windows PowerPoint, I was forced to get a PC. I had stopped using PCs about 5 years ago. Within 18 months I didn’t have a single Mac. I had gone all Windows. I got the kids Google Android Nexus 7s.

I also used to own Pixar shares. I actually bought Pixar shortly after its IPO on the recommendation of an analyst — who used to call me up for my take on networking companies. She was quite good. She pushed IBM when it was way down … like AAPL was. In those early days PIXAR was ‘cute’. They would send shareholders all sorts of goodies, Pixar posters in the main. Nice touch. I had Pixar stock when Disney bought them.

So, I am no stranger to AAPL or Steve Jobs. Plus having worked for public companies and having been a consultant to many during the dot.com boom (and bust), I do know a bit about company results and the games you can play with them. Essentially you always have a ‘drawer’ from which you could pull stuff or into which you slid stuff that you could pull out at a later stage. Plus AAPL has $150 per SHARE in Cash!

They rigged yesterday’s results! Plain and simple. They wanted a $50 drop in the share price. That was very obvious. Yes, I watched the results come out on CNBC at 4:30. They could have stopped the bleeding at a stroke. All they had to mention was that they were raising the dividend, which they should or that they were going to buy back shares. Nothing. They wanted the stock price down. They want it at $450, if not $400.

Steve Cook does NOT, obviously and of course, have the pride, empathy and relationship that Steve had with his company. Steve Cook was just an employee and will always be an employee. He really doesn’t care about the company like Steve did; but nobody could. Plus, he is, as all knew, not a patch on Jobs. I really don’t think he was ever up to the job, in the same way that Sculley was out of his depth when at AAPL.

My son, the new stock wizard doing very well (e.g. buying Google before the results), called around 8:30 pm to discuss the results. This is what I told him.

Unless you have had the ‘joy’ of owning company issued stock options you don’t understand the importance of NEEDING stock prices to fluctuate widely.

Apple management, from top to bottom, new stock options assigned on a regular basis. When you are due for a new batch, you want the stock price down, way down — because the option price will then be set per this low price. Then you want it to go up. The money you make is on that delta. I am convinced that they are cooking the books because of some stock option deal. Remember even Steve Jobs was accused of manipulating his stock options. So to me this is a simple case of the management abrogating their fiduciary responsibility to the stock holders to pad their own wallets.

I am not going to sell my AAPL share right now. I will sell when the panic is over. Yes, I did sell some a few months ago at $640. I should have listened to my son and sold at $720.

So, this is me giving you a heads up. Be very careful, very careful with AAPL. The management is out to screw the shareholders.

Plus here is what I envision. All things Apple, starting with an ‘i’ will go the same way as the Mac. Yes, yes, I know that Macs are doing ‘well’, but that well is relative. I think Android, Samsung and Google will be having apple for lunch in 2013 and spitting out the core.

The BEST thing that can happen to Apple. Google buying them out!

It Sure Is Cold. I Vetoed My 5°F (-15°C) Threshold And Went Running At Noon When It Was 3°F (-16°C).


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Wow. It Is Cold Up Here … — Jan. 3, 2013.

My usual route up Prospect Mountain. This was not from today. Today was bright blue, cloudless skies. Click to ENLARGE.

My usual route up Prospect Mountain. This was not from today. Today was bright blue, cloudless skies. Click to ENLARGE.

Lactogen baby

‘Lactogen Baby’, 1954 to 1962, Ceylon, ad, with this picture, with the heading ‘Baby Guruge’, appeared in 12 newspapers, in 3 languages, every day. ‘Lactogen’ was a Swiss baby formula company. My father, the clever one in the family, declined any monies from them! He said that he was ‘OK’. I was chubby even then, though I was born very sickly, physically twisted (arms and legs intertwined) and unable to pee. This was my maternal grandmother’s work and she mainly used coconut oil! Once I started eating she fattened me up on a strict diet of eggs, chocolate, meat, fish, rice and lentils. My mother made me fancy cakes and puddings. I was doomed from birth.

I had come up with the must be 5°F (-15°C) or warmer threshold somewhere in 2003 or 2004 when we had a long stretch of really cold weather and people said I was crazy to go running in such cold weather. My contacts used to freeze too, which was not that funny. So, I have lived by that 5°F rule, quite happily, for a long time — until today.

Today, I no longer had a choice. I have to exercise. I have to lose weight. I have to cut back on eating. I have to say no to Carbs. Today, I got the dreaded results. I am now officially pre-diabetic. I have been waiting for this day for 43 years!

I was 7 when my uncle, my mother’s older brother, a gifted doctor, who had birthed me, said out of the blue, when all of us were seated around one evening: ‘Well, YOU are going to be diabetic. Stop taking any sugar. You might as well also stop taking salt’. I was 7 and there was nothing much wrong with me at that stage. I was still the ‘Lactogen Baby‘! But, there is a bad diabetes on both side of the family. So, I was not going to escape.

So, for 43 years, I have been waiting for my uncle’s prediction to come true. He was a pretty amazing doctor — physicians to Prime Ministers, Governor Generals and Presidents, and, of course, me.

I have to lose weight — fast. By my own standards I am borderline obese. My BMI is 26.6. I need to get down to 169 lbs. I think I was 165 lbs, 10 years ago, when we got married.

I need to lose 11 pounds. That will get me the 25 BMI. If I cutout all carbs, which I can easily do, and have done, I can drop 5 within a couple of months. The problem is that this then hikes my cholesterol. I can’t win. I have done strict Atkin before, with great success and luck. Cheese, ham, chicken, pork, greens, cauliflower, eggs. Did it for about 3 years. Blood work was never better. Felt great. But, missed my carbs. Love bread. Love sweets and believe that I need chocolate to maintain my body color.

So starting today, I have to work on this. Getting rid of 11 — and I am no longer young. I lost 70 pounds, when I was in my late 20s, in about 6 months. Went from 205 lbs to 135 lbs. I was quite a sight when I weighed 135 lbs, since my shoulders never got any narrower. I lost that 70 pounds within 7 months — but I was possessed. Didn’t use to run those days. I was not fit, though I did play cricket, sporadically (and badly) during the Summer. The first day I went running I managed about 1/4 mile and then crawled back home — and I do mean crawl, on all fours. I couldn’t breath. Went out again the next day. Went a few yards further, but in the end still crawled back. Within 2 weeks I was running a mile. Within a month 2. At the end of 3 months I was running 7 miles every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was also doing it in about 7 – 8 minutes a mile. On Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s I fasted. One apple and one chunk of cheese. Lots of coffee and wine. I super busy, and not eating gave me the time to run. Once I got to running the 7 miles the pounds just fell away, daily. Biggest problem was clothes. I was Customer Support Manager for ITT Business Systems in the UK — and had to dress for the part, with white shirts and snazzy suits. I would only wear Van Heusen shirts. I needed new shirts every week and new suits every month. It was an expensive hobby. I would give the clothes away. No time to get them altered. Plus no kids.

So … now. I will have to go running again tomorrow. Hope it is a tad warmer. Just as I was getting home had some tears freeze. Maya’s muzzle was coated with ice from her breath. She didn’t seem to mind the cold. Didn’t say anything.