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Posts Tagged ‘GOOG’

Palm Continues to Suffer (PALM, AAPL, GOOG, RIMM)

March 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Palm Inc. reported earnings after the close today, and what they reported wasn’t pretty.  Expectations were for a loss of $.42 per share on revenue of $316.19 mm.  Reported numbers were $366 mm, which was actually higher than expectation, and a loss of $.61 per share, which was not.  After being up by about 5% during the day on a lot of short covering, the stock tumbled on the news in after hours by over 13%.

Adding to the woes are increasing inventories at the carriers.  This is an issue because Palm records sales when the products are shipped to the carriers, not when they are actually sold to consumers.  Thus, large stocks of unsold inventory will prevent Palm from recording much in the way of sales until that backlog is cleared.  Thus, Palm issued revenue guidance for the upcoming quarter that is half of the $305.77 mm that analysts were expecting.

My Palm article in September hypothesized that the stock (then at 17.40) would drop as consumer adoption of the new operating system would lag.  Back then, Palm was shipping over 800,000 units per quarter, that number has since increased to over 900,000 but sell through to customers has decreased to 400,000 units.    The stock in after hours dropped to below $5 as the long term survivability of Palm remains in doubt while they try to compete against the mighty Apple, Google and RIMM.

-AH

Disclosure: Long GOOG, no position in any other stock mentioned

As Bullishness Returns to the Market: Can the Rally Continue? (SPY, QQQ, DIA, GOOG)

The S&P 500 is up about 5% since I changed my stance on the stock market from bullish to bearish back on November 19th and all of the fundamental reasons for the change are still intact (although I’m neutral on a technical basis). Recent news has been mixed or negative and not helping the situation is the announcement over the weekend from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that the yuan is not overvalued and that there is a chance of a double dip recession in China.

Many of China’s trading partners (including the US) have been upset with China’s handling of their currency during one of the most devastating economic period in recent history (China had been gradually appreciating the yuan but stopped in 2008). Adding to protectionist issues, Google said over the weekend that is 99.9% sure it will be closing it’s China.cn web portal and China made a warning to Google’s Chinese partners that they will be responsible for any search related problems on their own website.

Despite all this negative news flow, investors has been hanging on to hope with the tired lines of “things are getting less worse”. Bulls are still reciting facts about recoveries in past recessions as if the more they repeat them, the more they will apply to the current crises. Unfortunately they do not.

It would seem that people are ignoring fundamentals and the more the stock market rises, the more bullish they will become. The downside to this strategy is that most people who are bullish are already invested. It is almost always short sellers covering their positions that launch the market into it’s final peaks before coming down and this is certainly how it feels to me.

The chart above from Bloomberg gives some good color to the situation. There is no “clear” indication that we are topping out right now but there are definitely more (and better) reasons to be cautious than to be optimistic. The rally over the last month has been strongly moved by short sellers having their stops hit (trust me, I’ve been trying), and I fear that a few months from now we will be looking back at this point in the stock market as a double top and possibly the highs for the year. Be careful everybody.

-MJB

Disclosure: Net-long the stock market with over 35% assets in cash

Google looking to revamp another industry? (GOOG, AAPL, T, CMCSA, MSFT, ADBE, TWX, SNE, VIA, CBS)

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

MarketWatch is reporting that Google will be testing a new direct-to-home fiber-optic internet connection service that will reach speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.  The company is currently looking for interested communities, and hopes to test their new system with up to 500,000 people.

This service has the potential to be a game changer.  Google is interested in much faster internet connections because of their belief in “cloud-computing,” where very little information is stored on a user’s local machine because the actual computing is done by a remote server.  They have pushed this technology into the mainstream with services like Docs, Picasa photo editing, Calendar, and hope to take the technology further with the Chrome OS.

The current issue concerns the speed of the user’s connection to these services.  Even with the fastest available connection speeds, which in my area is 50 mbps, these services are not as fast as a desktop client due to latency.  Picasa only offers minimal photo editing due to bandwidth limitations, and video manipulation is impossible.  Thus, desktop programs like Photoshop, Office, iPhoto and iMovie are still necessarily stored on a local machine.

Google knows that companies like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Adobe (ADBE) are too entrenched on the desktops of consumers, so they are not trying to fight the battle there.  Instead they are staying on the relatively uninhabited world of web-based applications.  And they are winning, chiefly because they are a high-profile company and that no one else does free, ad-supported products quite as well as Google.

If this service from Google becomes widely available, and at a reasonable cost (admittedly a big ask), it would destroy the business models of many companies.  Software providers like Apple, Microsoft and Adobe would find themselves competing against a free, cloud-based product that acts in the same way that their desktop software does but available anywhere.  Content providers like Time Warner (TWX), Sony (SNE),  Viacom (VIA), CBS (CBS) etc be selling their media via streaming services, as people move their entertainment libraries off their shelves and hard drives and onto remote servers.  And current internet providers like Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) will be competing against a service which runs at 10x their current maximum bandwidth.  That is why this could very well be a game changing moment for Google.

-AH

Disclosure: Long GOOG, MSFT, T and the market in general.  No positions in any other stocks mentioned.

Follow-Up: Technical Trouble on the S&P 500 (SPY, GS, JPM, AAPL, CSCO, GOOG, F, GE, CAT, GLD, UUP)

December 8, 2009 1 comment

We have posted discussions about this in the past, most recently on November 25th and also on October 30th, where we looked at the charts and decided that the S&P 500 was possibly in for some trouble.  On November 25 the broad market index closed at 1111.18, and today it closed at 1091.94, for a loss of 1.7%.  Basically, the market has gone nowhere in that time.

What has happened, however, is that the chart has given us some more signs that the market is running into trouble.  Here is a 1 yr daily chart of the SPX, similar to the one we showed in our previous posts, except with some updated lines.

As you can see, we still remain unable to break above that 1120 line (yellow horizontal line), which is the long term 50% Fibonacci retracement line from the 2007 high to this years low.  It is likely that we are seeing heavy resistance at this level as traders anticipate this weakness and front run it to exit positions for the year.

Additionally, this chart shows that we have broken the uptrend that was established since the March lows.  Keen observers will note that this also happened in October, but the break is much more definitive this time especially when combined with that price ceiling. However, we will need to take a look at where we close on the weekly chart because that should be much more indicative of future movements.

For good measure, the same analysis applied to the E-Mini futures (/ES) yields similar results:

The /ES is attempting, and thus far failing to break through its own ceiling which has been established at 1112.  As you can see, the E-Mini futures just broke below the upward trendline that has defined this rally since March.

The root cause of this is, in our opinion, fund managers selling off risky assets to lock in the substantial gains some of them have been able to accumulate during this tumultuous year.  Obviously, this situation is not sustainable, as mutual fund managers often have a mandated maximum cash balance, and hedge fund managers generally do not like to have their end-of-year statements to clients say that they are in cash.  But there is a lot of money available to be taken off to the sidelines, so this situation may continue through the end of the year.  It will be important to watch leadership stocks over the next couple weeks such as Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Apple (AAPL), Cisco, (CSCO), Google, (GOOG), Ford (F), General Electric (GE), Caterpillar (CAT), etc. and of course gold (GLD) and the US Dollar (UUP). We’ll be making a follow up to this over the weekend.

-Lucid Markets Team

Disclosure: Long GS, CSCO, GOOG, GE, GLD, UUP, JPM and the stock market in general through various other positions.

Amazon and the Incredible Rising PE (AMZN, FDX, UPS, M, TGT, BGP, AAPL, GOOG, PG)

November 30, 2009 1 comment

Amazon’s (AMZN) stock reached a new, all-time high of 135.91 today after having another successful day, finishing up over 3% on a choppy day of trading.  What is going on, and why does it deserve a Price-To-Earnings Multiple of close to 80?

Certainly, we can look at the obvious trends that have been taking place over the past decade or so.  The slow (or not so slow) decline of brick-and-mortar is well documented, as is the amazing, almost parabolic, rise of online e-commerce.  The large overhead and real estate costs of running a physical store put shops like Macy’s (M), Target (TGT) and Borders (BGP) at a disadvantage when it comes to pricing.  Add to that the advantage that customers in most states do not pay sales tax for online purchases (although this may change), and the advantages of Internet shopping are huge.

But, based on this years earning expectations of 1.88, AMZN is trading at a multiple of 72 as of todays close. Granted, this is lower than was found during the bubble years but they have real revenue now and far lower growth prospects.  Analysts expect the company to grow by 25% per year, which in the next 5 years would give AMZN a market cap of about $180bn, equivalent to Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), or Proctor & Gamble (PG) today.

I could not think more highly of Amazon the company.  They have proven resiliant, resourceful and innovative in their highly competitive market.  They refuse to rest on their successes, as shown by their unveiling of the Kindle; a product that is making people take E-Readers seriously for the first time.  And I believe that the company will show continued success.  AMZN the stock, however, has gone too far.  There are less pricey ways to play the shift to E-Commerce (Fedex (FDX) and UPS (UPS) spring to mind), but frankly, this whole e-shopping trade is getting too crowded for my blood.

-AH

Disclosure: Long TGT, no positions in any other stock mentioned.

B RIMM @ $56.60 (RIMM, AAPL, GOOG, MOT)

November 2, 2009 1 comment

Research in Motion BlackBerryPretty simple rules based buy. Research in Motion (RIMM) should be trading above $60 using the most extraordinarily conservative projections according to discounted cash flows. It should trade around $80-90 using more realistic projections and around $110 using bullish scenarios.

$56.60 was also about 15% under my average price which usually calls for me to add more to my positions if I still feel good about them. I know there is lots of concern that Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and the new Android competitors from Google (GOOG) such as the Motorola (MOT) Droid will hurt Research in Motion and to be honest I agree. However, I think that the concern has been overdone. Research in Motion is strongest in the business sector where the iPhone and other smart phones have irtually no traction. Corporate spending is falling now because of the recession but I would prefer to buy this fear rather than sell on it because it is temporary and only related to the recession.

The trend in mobile smart phones is strong and I believe Research in Motion will continue to capitalize on its growth.

-MJB

Disclosure: Long RIMM and GOOG

Wall St. Analyst Model Meltdown: Reason to Buy or a Contrarian Red Flag? (GOOG)

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Google’s (GOOG) gravity defying numbers shattered the models of no less than ten major Wall St. Analyst firms causing them to raise price targets. The lowest of these recent ratings implies a 10.5% upside based on Friday’s closing price and the highest estimate would provide a 27.3% gain.

See Below:
Stifel Nicolaus raised target to $650
Barclays (BCS) raised target to $620
FBR raised target to $680
Piper Jaffray (PJC) raised target to $623
Kaufman Bros. raised target to $645
UBS raised target to $635
JP Morgan & Chase (JPM) raised target to $608
Goldman Sachs (GS) raised target to $635
BofA (BAC) raised target to $640
Citi (C) raised target to $640
Benchmark raised target to $625
Canaccord Adams raised target to $700 (Street High)

Disclosure: Long GOOG