Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Would You Short This $26 Stock?

Would you short a $26 stock that sells at much less than 1x its growth rate, with about a fifth of its market cap in cash and no debt? Would you short a stock that conceivably might be selling at less than 13x next year's earnings? Would you short a stock that's cheaper than virtually every tech stock in the world on the out-year multiples?

I wouldn't; but many would, and are. That stock is AAPL - simply divided by 10. Funny, but when I look at many websites, blogs, stories, tv shows, etc. the stock most people want to short is AAPL. Apple! The one company I follow that has blown out the top line, the bottom line and every line in between. The one company that has products that can be stocked, that has demand worldwide and is a multi-faceted juggernaut. Plus, it appears to have a product line that is insensitive to price and products that people stand in line for in an era where no-one stands in line for anything.

To which I say, I have 499 other stocks I would short other than Apple. Why the obsession with taking this one down?

I think, though, I know some of the sub-rosa, or even, perhaps, subliminal reasoning behind it: the dollar amount of the stock price.

If Apple were to be divided by 10, believe me, it would not be such a juicy target. The points, the sheer number of points it can drop, though, makes it so tempting.

I believe that Apple's going to at least $300. I say that because that's where it will be bumping up against the market multiple on the number I think it can earn next year - easily, most likely. The fact that it is "a lot of points", or that the chart says it is stalling, is meaningless to me.

I need a fundamental reason to short, a catalyst to short, or sell, and I just don't see one.

long AAPL

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