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  • Chris Hill: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, sent a letter to shareholders. It went something like this.

  • "Dear Apple shareholders, remember back in November when we forecast that our first quarter

  • revenue was going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $89-93 billion?

  • How would you feel about $84 billion instead?" Shares of Apple are down 9% today.

  • Bill Barker: Yeah. The attempt to spice that bad news up with, "By the way, we're going to have an all-time

  • record for earnings per share," didn't seem to work.

  • I don't think there's any surprise here, when you lower the revenue guidance as much as

  • they did, especially for Apple, which is well known for providing very cautious guidance.

  • Largely accused of sandbagging on guidance for the last decade, at least.

  • So, when they say $89-93 billion, the usual response is, "Let's start with $93 billion

  • and add a little more on." This is talking about the Wall Street analyst community.

  • Normally, for many companies, you take the midpoint of the guidance as, "We've really

  • evaluated this, and somehow we've come up with the exact midpoint of the guidance that

  • has been handed to us." Hill: $91 billion.

  • Barker: Though, with Apple, you're going to be above that, because history has shown you

  • that that's what's likely to come in closer to the reality. And this time, no such luck.

  • Hill: Apple is going to report their first quarter earnings somewhere in the neighborhood of February 7th.

  • We've got a little over a month to go.

  • Cook gave an interview with CNBC where he talked about traffic being down in their stores.

  • He talked about China. A lot of it was about China.

  • He said he hadn't seen the December numbers yet, but clearly, the indication was that

  • they were bad enough that they're lowering guidance very early in January.

  • In that interview, he seemed to spell out two basic challenges that Apple is dealing with.

  • One is of their own making, one is not of their own making.

  • The not of their own making is the macroeconomic environment, the slowing of the economy in

  • China, the trade war having an effect, that sort of thing.

  • Of their own making is the fact that they're selling a $1,000 phone and trying to get a

  • lot of people to buy it at the same point in time when -- and he made reference to this

  • in the CNBC interview, he talked about the battery replacement program that they did

  • last fall, how they dramatically lowered the price of the batteries, I think it was down to $29.

  • You had a lot of people taking advantage of that.

  • And because of that, they said, "I don't need to upgrade my phone.

  • Why would I go out and upgrade from an iPhone 6 to a 7, or a 7 to an 8, when the battery

  • was the problem and now it's fixed?"

  • Barker: I think that in a lazy world, you would refer to this as a perfect storm.

  • I've always considered that to be among the laziest evaluations of what's going on,

  • is to find three factors and combine them and pretend that somehow, that's a unique circumstance.

  • But you've got China generally slowing down. You've got China-U.S. specifically being an issue.

  • And Apple, in many ways, being a poster boy for the U.S.

  • And then, you've got Apple's specific choices, as you mentioned, being largely around the

  • pricing of their product.

  • They make better and better products, but there appears to be a limit to which large

  • numbers, or at least sufficiently large numbers, of people will go, in terms of buying a new

  • phone when the one that they've already got is already awfully good.

  • And Apple's history of being able to encourage people to upgrade their phones again and again

  • and again has taken at the very least an interruption.

  • Tim Cook is talking about the various ways that they can mask the real cost of the phone

  • by getting people to pay in installments.

  • Of course, it was masked for a long time, in terms of what you would pay, because the

  • service carrier was picking up part of the real cost.

  • You were paying for that in your contract with AT&T or whoever. That's largely been interrupted.

  • People are seeing the full cost of the phone and are hesitating.

  • Hill: This is a stock that, as I mentioned, down about 9% today.

  • Down nearly 40% since last fall. They have all that cash on the balance sheet.

  • When you look at Apple priced as it is today, do you look at it as a buying opportunity?

  • Or do you think this thing has further to fall?

  • Because the CEO himself said yesterday, "I haven't seen the December numbers."

  • It's not out of the realm of possibility that the December numbers are actually worse than

  • he and his executive team are imagining. Barker: To be wishy-washy, I would say both.

  • I think it's got further to fall in the short-term.

  • That said, given the net cash, which I think the letter refers to as $130 million right

  • now, that's about $30 a share -- Hill: $130 million?

  • Or $130 billion? Barker: $130 billion.

  • Hill: That's a big difference. Three more zeroes, anyway.

  • Barker: Well, some would say. On a day like today, who can tell?

  • So, $130 billion. That's about $30 a share on the share price.

  • They're about $4.7 billion, so I'm rounding up. It's not quite $30 per share.

  • That out of, call it $144 right now that Apple's going for, something like that, you're spending

  • about $114 net of the cash. It's got about $11 a share in earnings.

  • So, about 10X the earnings power of the company. What are they going to do with all that cash?

  • They're going to keep buying back their shares, which they've been doing pretty aggressively

  • over the last six years.

  • Over the last six years, earnings per share have grown 11% per year for Apple.

  • That's off of a peak, six years ago was an interim peak. The actual net income has grown about 6%.

  • They've not quite doubled their earnings per share growth by buying back what is closing

  • in on two billion shares. They bought back about 25-30% of the company over the last six years.

  • They can continue to do that, buy back maybe 5% a year of the company, with just cash on

  • hand and the cash flow that they're getting, and continue to pay the dividend, which is yielding about 2%.

  • You may see an interruption in their growth.

  • Of course, the letter refers to all the other areas other than the iPhone as doing pretty well.

  • They refer to, I want to say either 19% or 29% growth in the other areas of the company.

  • That’s not bad. The diversification outside of the phone is a net underneath things.

  • But iPhone is still certainly the biggest part.

  • Hill: Absolutely. The Services business has been steadily growing.

  • It's now, I would say, more than meaningful revenue. But, as you said, this is all about the iPhone.

  • As long as the iPhone is not flying off the shelves, we're going to see days like this.

  • Barker: Let me get the number right, it is in the letter that "revenue outside of our

  • iPhone business grew by almost 19% year over year," which is pretty good. It's a very large company.

  • The non-iPhone part of Apple, which is the HomePods and the Macs and iPads --

  • Hill: The Watch. Barker: -- the Watch, the Services.

  • Services were $10.8 billion for the quarter.

  • There's a lot of very large business going on outside the iPhone.

  • But the iPhone is the biggest chunk, certainly.

Chris Hill: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, sent a letter to shareholders. It went something like this.

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ティム-クックの手紙の後になぜAppleの株価が急落 (Why Apple Stock Tanked After Tim Cook's Letter)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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