Reggie Middleton on UK Bank Taxation Without Representation

First up, a quick history lesson courtesy of Wikipedia:

"No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed taxing the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen.

The phrase captures a sentiment central to the cause of the English Civil War, as articulated by John Hampden who said “what an English King has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse” in the Ship money case.

... The British Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports and exports since 1660.[1] By the 1760s, the Americans were being deprived of a historic right.[2] The English Bill of Rights 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without the consent of Parliament. Since the colonists had no representation in Parliament, the taxes violated the guaranteed Rights of Englishmen.

...The phrase had been used for more than a generation in Ireland.[7][8] By 1765, the term was in use in Boston, and local politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, "taxation without representation is tyranny."[9] In the course of the Revolutionary era (1750-1783), many arguments seeking to resolve the dispute surrounding Parliamentary sovereignty, self-governance, taxation, and the constitutional rights of 'commoners' to representation were pursued.[10]

Why go through this US grade school history lesson? Well, UK taxpayers have been paying substantial taxes to essentially bail out an Irish bank with no say so in how said bank is operated. As a matter of fact, they don't even know the extent of said bank's indebtedness despite paying a ton of money to bail it out. RBS investors have taken material losses due to this very same bank. Both of these parties went without adequate disclosure or... "representation".  A couple of months ago I penned a piece titled "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" wherein the Royal Bank of Scotland's failure to adequately report the full (and quite excessive, in my opinion) liabilities of its ill-fated acquisition, Ulster Bank of Ireland. Ulster Bank pumped massive losses into RBS, who in turn neared collapsed and required a massive bailout by the UK taxpayer (billions of pounds massive), who still owns 81% of this sick creature as I type this missive. Those losses were generated by an Irish bank in Ireland, but paid by UK citizens, and the losses were materially understated in my opinion for Ulster Bank was/is much less solvent than RBS is letting on through its US SEC reporting, having encumbered all of its ECB eligible assets available for lending... ALL OF ITS ASSETS! See "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" for complete details, it's a doozy!

I know more than a couple of UK taxpayers who'd much not rather pay Irish bad debts. I decided to rub a little salt in the UK wound by throwing some arithmetic illumination on the situation via an embedded Irish bad bank tax calculator...

The app below allows the UK Taxpayer to calculate for themselves exactly what their individual contribution (pro rata) is to the government bailout of RBS.

I've taken the liberty of pre-populating the input fields for you, but if you don't agree with the numbers then by all means insert your own!

Lo and behold, about a monthafter my reports the BBC published an article titled "Will the bad be taken out of RBS?" wherein they reported on plans to split the farce formerly known as a bank - RBS - into a good bank/bad bank scheme (ahem!). Shortly thereafter, the Irish Times ran the following article "UK Treasury considers Irish takeover of Ulster Bank - Reports suggest UK authorities want the Irish government to take control of bank". I really, really wonder why? As excerpted:

A “radical” restructuring of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is largely owned by the UK taxpayer, could see it transfer control of its Irish operation, Ulster Bank, to the Irish government.

The future of RBS is currently being considered by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, and a draft report from the commission called for the split of RBS into a good bank and a bad bank.

However, a speculative report from BBC business editor Robert Peston has suggested that “another, more radical option is also being assessed by the Treasury”.

This would involve somehow removing Ulster Bank from RBS. The bank has been one of the worst performing parts of the group, with losses of £1 billion in 2012.

Mr Peston said that one idea raised is to “transfer Ulster Bank into the arms and ownership of the Irish government”, by swapping all or part of the bank for the British loans and investments currently owned by Ireland’s “bad bank”, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Hmmm... That's interesting, trading trash for garbage!

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Last week I posted on the demise of the Deadbeat Carrier, whose antiquated business models will quickly cause theiir obsolescence. In said post I showed how cost effective it is to use unlimited wireless carriers as a sole source of connectivity. Well, the Wall Street Journal ran a similar piece, Cord-Cutters Lop Off Internet Service More Than TV, to wit:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans canceled their home Internet service last year, surveys suggest, taking advantage of the proliferation of Wi-Fi hot spots and fast new wireless networks that have made Web connections on smartphones and tablets ubiquitous.

Last year around 1% of U.S. households stopped paying for home Internet subscriptions and relied on wireless access instead, according to consumer surveys by Leichtman Research Group Inc. Just 0.4% of households in the last year canceled their pay-television subscriptions in favor of getting video entertainment over the Internet via services such as Hulu orNetflix NFLX -3.48%.

...Dropping home Internet service isn't a great deal for heavy Internet users, however. While smartphones are fine for email and social networking, wireless data plans can be expensive and easily drained by even a single streamed high-definition movie. Free Wi-Fi is more widely available than ever, but cutting the Internet cord means users have to rely on cellular access at home.

Still, frustrated by rising cable and Internet bills, some subscribers are testing whether their smartphones and free Wi-Fi might be good enough. Others, unable to afford both services, are having to make do without easy access to streaming video for entertainment and education, underscoring the persistent differences in how people of various economic levels go online.

...Right now, replacing home Internet with wireless doesn't make much economic sense for any but the lightest users, says Craig Moffett, an independent telecommunications analyst. Leading carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.T -0.66% have installed high-speed networks, but the companies also are trying to make more money from Internet traffic by pushing plans that charge subscribers by how much data they use.

Well that's the leading carriers! Nobody forces you to do business with a carrier that overcharges for its services!

The broader wireless industry offers less-expensive options, including unlimited plans at Sprint Nextel Corp. S -0.96% and the T-Mobile US Inc., TMUS -2.05% although Verizon Wireless and AT&T have the most extensive networks at the highest speeds.

This simply isn't true, and I demonstrated such in the demise of the Deadbeat Carrier by actually measuring the speeds of both AT&T and T-mobile. T-Mobile speeds are quite compariable in real world situations.

"The way we think about it is, wire-line and wireless networks are going to coexist," says Mike Roudi, senior vice president for corporate development at Time Warner Cable Inc. TWC -1.20% "It would be hard for somebody to rationalize getting rid of their home connection and moving all of that traffic to a wireless rate plan."

Hey, I did it nearly a year ago. It's working out just fine for me!

Still, with average home Internet charges approaching $50 a month and typical low-end smartphone plans costing at least that much, many Americans can't or don't want to pay for both. Surveys suggest that those who have to make the choice are choosing smartphone service—which, after all, offers both voice and online access—instead of home Internet. Minorities and people with low incomes are far more likely than the average American to rely on their phones as their primary way to get online, the Pew Research Center found last year.

Leichtman Research surveys show that spending for home Internet service has risen steadily over the years, to an average of $46.78 a month last year from $28.46 in 2005. People trading up to faster services—from dial-up to DSL to cable to fiber-optic—accounts for some of the increase, but so do rising prices.

I've tested my my T-Mobile LTE/HSPA+ hypbrid connection against AT&T DSL, Verizon Fios fiber-optic and Verizon DSL and it blows the DSL services out of the water and is price competitive with Verizon fiber up to about 15 MBs. Again, see the demise of the Deadbeat Carrier.

For those who don't believe my, I come bearing gifts. First, pretty charts...

Reggie Middleotns Carrier Cost Comparison

My next gift is your ability to generate your own chart with your own wasted wireless carrier dollar expenditures. Check it out..

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applecutsabreandriod3d

On Thursday, 12 August 2010 I penned . In said piece I unequivocally detailed the process and mechanism with which Google would systematically slash the profitability of the fat-margined OEM hardware and software vendors. I was the ultimate contrarian at this time for there was not a single well known analyst, investor or media personality that espoused a similar viewpoint. Apple was the "the next big thing" at that time.

This time last year I took time to go into detail in regards to how Google is able to go about this...

Eariler this year, I delved even deeper into the details of how Google will cut the fat-margined companies (read as Apple, et. al.) off at the knees!

As coincidence would have it, Google management has now come out in public with affirmation of the business model that I have attributed to them these last few years, as reported today by the Financial Times on their front page.

Google is preparing an attack on Apple’s iPhone with a device that is more aware of its surroundings and smart enough to anticipate how it will be used next, according to the head of the internet company’s Motorola subsidiary.

The gadget, called the Moto X, will be made in the US and will be part of a campaign to drive down the cost of smartphones and end the high profit margins companies such as Apple have enjoyed, said Dennis Woodside, the Google executive installed to run Motorola after it was acquired in late 2011.

Mr Woodside’s comments, made at the D11 conference in southern California, marked the first official confirmation by Google that it would launch a “hero” phone, or flagship handset capable of competing with devices such as the iPhone and Samsung’s S4.

I have also said on several occasions that the current market sweetheart, Samsung, is not immune to the hardware margin compression woes. As a matter of fact, no hardware vendor in this segment is. It's quite evident now that Google's plans for Motorola is precisely to drive down the margins of all OEM vendors - even their Android partners who are also competitors. A complex relationship, eh? Let's face it, Smartphone Hardware Manufacturers Are Dead, Long Live The Google-like Solution Providers (and Computer Hardware Vendors Are Dead, Part Deux!). I commented on the predicament that Samsung is in now as it reaps increasingly large profits, just like Apple did - Samsung Will Be Ready To Do That Fruit Thing, Just Like Blackberry & Apple - Courtesy Of Google, #MarginCompression!

Mr Woodside hinted that the new handset would go on sale later this year and be priced well below the iPhone 5, adding that the sort of steep price declines seen in consumer electronics from personal computers to televisions were overdue in the smartphone market.

Without naming the iPhone directly, he said: “Those products earn 50 per cent margins. We don’t necessarily have those constraints. Those [margins] will not persist.”

... He added that Google was confident that the device, which will be “broadly distributed”, would be a big seller because “the experiences are unlike other experiences out there.”

For those who actually think that Apple's share price can afford such a battlle, I bring you this graphic from "Is It Time To Buy Apple As A Valuation Play? The Contrarian That Called The Top In Apple Weighs In"

Click the graphic once to view, twice to enlarge to printer quality...

 Reggie Middletonss Ultimate Apple Value Infographic

Putting stock market performances aside, the question du jour is, "Is this negative margin attack working?". Quick answer, hell yeah! I opined on margins by means of the market share vs profit share debate over the last two days, reference"

  1. Blackberries, Apples & Fruit Borne Successitis - The Problem With Excess Profits Is Hubristic Management Tends To Take Eyes Off The Prize!!! and
  2. Is Tim Cook Cooked? Market Share vs Profit Margin, part 2 - Follow What I Do, Not What I Say!

This strategem employed by Google was visible at its onset and could have been mitigated had Apple been less greedy in terms of short term profits (it was one of the, if not the most profitable companies in the world) and gunned for ubiquitous distribution. You see, over time, every company's margins get cut. The pertinent question and the inflection point into the next paradigm centers around the next logical questions, "Will you be the one to cut your own margins or will you allow your competitors do it for you?"

As long as the market leader actively and religiously cuts its own margins it essentially trades incremental profit margin for incremental market share growth. From a long term cash flow perspective, it actually averages out to about the same. The problem is if you fail to cut margins often and early, you reap large cash flows in the beginning of the cycle to forgo them through margin compression towards the middle and end of the cycle, characterized by market share loss at the onst.

I've been using Blackberry as an example of this...

Blackberry market share vs margin correlation analysis 

All of the former tech titans and market leaders have fallen the same way - Nokia, HTC, DEC, Polariod, etc.

Related reading:

Google Q2 2013 Update: Valuing Possibly The Most Powerful Co. In The World?

Is It Time To Buy Apple As A Valuation Play? The Contrarian That Called The Top In Apple Weighs In

Short Term Gain Brings About Long Term Pain? A Roadmap To Apple's Resurgence That Management Is Ignoring!!!

See also: Math and the Pace of Smart Phone Innovation May Take a Byte Out of Apple’s (Short-lived?) Dominance

For paying subscribers only:

Recent Apple Valuation Reports

Subscribers, download the Q3 2013 valuation reports (click here to subscribe).

The update from two months ago is also of value for those who haven't read it. It turns out that it was quite prescienct!

Recent Google Valuation Reports

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Tim Cook was in the media yesterday weighing in on market share. It's as if he is in a delirium, that is if you believe his words, which I don't. He states that for Apple, quality is more important than quantity (or something of that sort). As per Endgadget:

Apple's head honcho Tim Cook is chatting up Android's growth explosion, and it turns out he's not flustered. "Do I look at that? Of course, I don't have my head stuck in the sand," said Cook." But for us, winning has never been about having the most." Instead, he stands by the old Apple line of quality versus quantity. "Arguably, we make the best PC, but we don't make the most," he added. "We made the best music player, and we wound up making the most -- but we didn't initially."

Mr. Cook is ignoring his own ex-boss's words. For those who didn't read my piece yesterday, "Blackberries, Apples & Fruit Borne Successitis - The Problem With Excess Profits Is Hubristic Management Tends To Take Eyes Off The Prize!!!", I quote:

What ruined Apple was not growth … They got very greedy … Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible … they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.

You see, my post yesterday clearly showed that the financial metrics, over time and in handset companies, heavily favor market share over initial profit margin. As a matter of fact, I demonstrated that as market share decreases margins drop commensurately, or in other words "Quantity is quality in a fast moving, technologically dynamic market!"

In early 2010 I warned on Blackberry (then RIMM), with market share loss to Android being the prime determinant... . I put significant data out in the public domain to illustrate my point and put explicit price points out for subscribers, ie. RIM Smart Phone Market Share, RIP? Was I right?

Blackberry market share vs margin correlation analysisBlackberry market share vs margin correlation analysis

The has been the case with IBM, Nokia, Dell, HTC, Apple, Blackberry, etc. Mr. Cook, take the advice of Mr. Jobs if you don't wish to follow Mr. Middleton. I actually do believe that Cook understands these dynamics and is just putting on a dog and pony show for the media but his corporate actions don't bear this out. I strongly suggest they start spending that $174B cash horde on something other than massaging hedge funds.

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So, does Mr. Cook's lack of adherence to Steve Jobs wisdom portend a potentially uber-successful company misunderstood by the markets (meaning time to buy stock) or is this the beginning of the end of an iconic corporate era?

I refer my subscribers to the research documents below for the answers... 

Subscribers, download the Q3 2013 valuation reports (click here to subscribe).

The update from two months ago is also of value for those who haven't read it. It turns out that it was quite prescienct!

See also:

What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!

 The short call - October 2012, the month of Apple's all-time high and my call to subscribers to short the stock:  Deconstructing The Most Accurate Apple Analysis Ever Made - Share Price, Market Share, Strategy and All

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 posts Apple & Samsung's "Profit Share" Trap on Tech Thoughts blog:

Smartphone "Profit Share"

Over the past few days, there has been a lot of noise in the tech media about the supremacy of "profit share" over "market share", specifically related to Apple's performance in the smartphone market (but it can be extended to Samsung as well). Most proponents of this argument seem to fundamentally misunderstand the long-term relevance of the "profit share" metric.

Exactly! I've been preaching this mantra since the beginning of my coverage of the mobile computing sector. Let's recap...

In early 2010 I warned on Blackberry (then RIMM), with market share loss to Android being the prime determinant... . I put significant data out in the public domain to illustrate my point and put explicit price points out for subscribers, ie. RIM Smart Phone Market Share, RIP? Was I right?

Blackberry market share vs margin correlation analysis

I explained this in detail in the post "Cost Shifting Your Way To Prominence Using The Network Effect, Or Google Wins - Apple, RIM & Microsoft Have ALREADY LOST!". Failure to achieve the network effect effective is tantamount to a failure to be able to control you margins, long term. Of all people to of know this, who do you think preached it most convincingly? Take note:

What ruined Apple was not growth … They got very greedy … Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible … they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.

Who did I just quote? None other than the RDF Chief in Charge, Steve Jobs (circa 1995 Forbes interview)! So, if he was able to see what happened to his baby in the '90s, what happened in the new millennium? I certainly warned it would happen again, see this three year old article - A Glimpse of the BoomBustBlog Internal Discussion Concerning the Fate of Apple. In Apple on the Margin I showed the margin fade coming ahead of time, as well as in the following references:

  1. More of the Android Onslaught: Increasing Handset Revenues and Growth 

So,Apple's top management knew how this worked. I knew how this worked. What happened? Who the hell cares, a short is a short. Next up was the contrarian call of the decade, but it took very little intelligence and as much as I'd like to claim credit for being a genius... all  you had to do was watch the trend.

$34,852,564,500 - That's How Much BoomBustBlog's Apple Research Was Worth Today!

So, now the question remains, "Is Apple a steal at these prices?" Well Doug Kass seems to think so (Doug Kass: 4 Reasons Apple Is Turning Around - CNBCand I'd love to discuss this with him on air or, or both! This was discussed here in detail - Is It Time To Buy Apple As A Valuation Play? The Contrarian That Called The Top In Apple Weighs In.

I refer my subscribers to the research documents below for the answers... 

Subscribers, download the Q3 2013 valuation reports (click here to subscribe).

The update from two months ago is also of value for those who haven't read it. It turns out that it was quite prescienct!

See also:

What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!

 The short call - October 2012, the month of Apple's all-time high and my call to subscribers to short the stock:  Deconstructing The Most Accurate Apple Analysis Ever Made - Share Price, Market Share, Strategy and All

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Following up on the many emails, but not so many actual site comments from yesterday's post "Deadbeat Carrier Creative Destruction In The Ongoing Mobile Computing Wars" I bring you hard evidence that there's about to be a massive disruption in the telecomm space. We're not just talking Google Fiber here. The smallest, most upstart of carriers has broken the holy grail and did away with multi-year, hardware subsidizing contracts while at the same time materially boosting its bandwidth, coverage and throughput. This means that the price-gouging competitors are going to fave that Apple thingy, #MarginCompression.

As states in yesterday's post, T-Mobile's subway experience delivers Verizon FiOS speeds via LTE. Well, T-Mobile must have read that post for they turned LTE on in Brooklyn and that's what I'm using to make this very article. It's very fast, very cheap, its opening in more places than many would have thought. What does this mean? It means prices will probably collapse across the board, you know... #MarginCompression. It ain't just Apple, RIMM and Nokia!

For those who don't believe my, I come bearing gifts. First, a pretty charts...

Reggie Middleotns Carrier Cost Comparison

Wait until people realize how much they are actually paying for those "free", subsidized phones... Then things will really get interesting...

Reggie Middleotns Carrier Subsidy Cost Comparison

My next gift is your ability to generate your own chart with your own wasted wireless carrier dollar expenditures. Check it out..

Of course, this doesn't look to good for Microsoft or Intel, for the Android camp is encroaching on the Wintel camp much faster than the Wintel camp is returning the favor. 

I have a lot of thoughts and ideas circling these developments. Institutional and professional subscribers (click here to subscribe) are welcomed to email or call me to discuss this further.

Related articles...

US Cellular Carriers Are At Risk Of Being Marginalized Into Nothingness Unless They Learn To Think Outside The Box... Yesterday

The Death Of The Deadbeat Carriers, Part 2 

This week I opined on Apple, et. al.

Is It Time To Buy Apple As A Valuation Play

What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!

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 I have personally tested the T-Mobile LTE service in a NYC subway (the 42nd street station) using what is currently the best (big brand) mobile handset available, the LG Optimus G Pro.

20130522 140401 3799

The speeds I attained are phenomenal for a cell phone. This combo is more than capable of replacing a small business or home network Internet connection through FiOS or AT&T.

This is a similar LTE speed test performed in the AT&T store in Union Square, NYC.

20130522 143033 26462

The majority of my work is now done off of smart phones, so I know this stuff fairly well. AT&T charges roughly 3x what T-Mobile would charge for about 31GB of bandwidth use, while T-Mobile delivered 2.5x the speed. Now, T-Mobile's network is not under load yet, and results can vary by location, weather, yada, yada... Long story short, if T-Mobile continues to focus on being a pure play pipe provider, AT&T and Verizon will need to get their shit together!!!

T-Mobile, if they play their cards right, can truly shake up the industry. If you did not already know, T-Mobile has eliminated carrier subsidies of handsets and has instead given a 0% APR (allegedly, although an implied rate could be built into the price of the hardware) loan to have the user pay for the device directly, and has reduced the price of its plans commensurately. T-Mobile has also dropped contract requirements totally and has made a big push into its pre-paid plans with an offer of unlimited data. It is this option that makes a lot of sense for power users and techies. Today's Android phones (ex. the LG Optimus G Pro) have more than enough oomph to power an office - and I mean it. I actually do it.

With a 14 - 32mbs always on connection, you can fully replace Microsoft Office, your overpriced DSL, FiOS, AT&T, etc. connection, and your overpriced cell phone carrier with a single phone, some inexpensive peripherals and a single $70 per month ($76 with all taxes and fees included) T-Mobile plan.

This is a very big deal, for if consumers start using their heads and pull out a calculator or two, AT&T and Verizon have an awful lot of price slashing to do, and the likes of the pretty but considerably less functional OEMs such as Apple have a lot of R&D and production ramping to do as well.

You have heard me predict this in the past.

April and May 2012 I opined on the carriers

US Cellular Carriers Are At Risk Of Being Marginalized Into Nothingness Unless They Learn To Think Outside The Box... Yesterday

The Death Of The Deadbeat Carriers, Part 2 

This week I opined on Apple, et. al.

Is It Time To Buy Apple As A Valuation Play

What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!

Of course, this doesn't look to good for Microsoft or Intel, for the Android camp is encroaching on the Wintel camp much faster than the Wintel camp is returning the favor. 

I have a lot of thoughts and ideas circling these developments. Institutional and professional subscribers (click here to subscribe) are welcomed to email or call me to discuss this further.

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All who have followed me over the last three years know I've taken a very strong stance on the mobile computing wars, their prospective winners, losers and the benefits/pitfalls to be had from such intense competition. Outside of possibly Goldman Sachs, the most controversial, blindly beloved company that I've called a short on was Apple. Now that I think of it, Apple has Goldman beat hands down. After first warning of impending margin compression with 18 quarters of October 2010, I've been reviled by every fanboi this side of the Valley. Now, it's vogue to say #MarginCompression!

For those who are not the type to pay for analysis, the following video and graphic contains everything you'd ever want to know about Apple past, present and potentially future. For those of you who are willing to pay for quality analysis, I answer the question that should be on everyone's mind, "Is it time to now buy Apple as a deep value play?" After all, the move that I've warned about has came and gone, or has it. Subscribers, see download links at the bottom of this article.

Click the graphic once to view, twice to enlarge to printer quality...

 Reggie Middletonss Ultimate Apple Value Infographic

Subscribers, download the Q3 2013 valuation reports (click here to subscribe).

The update from two months ago is also of value for those who haven't read it. It turns out that it was quite prescienct!

See also:

What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!

 The short call - October 2012, the month of Apple's all-time high and my call to subscribers to short the stock:  Deconstructing The Most Accurate Apple Analysis Ever Made - Share Price, Market Share, Strategy and All

This crux of that article was to debunk the widely assumed notion that I was bearish on Apple's share price for 2 years. The reality of the matter was that the paid research and opinion clearly supported much of Apple's share price until right about the last earnings report and release of the iPhone 5, until I notably went bearish and Apple promptly lost 35%, or about 4 Dells with a LinkedIn thrown in to boot...

apple stock and front month options

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On Monday I posted Google Q2 2013 Update: Valuing Possibly The Most Powerful Co. In The World?, an update on Google's valuation and target price points for my subscribers. In said piece, I illuminated the massive misunderstanding of Google's business model. I consistently hear pundits bang on the table screaming, "But nearly all of Google's revenue comes from advertising!!!" That's the point! Google monetizes nearly ALL of its ventures through advertising, whcih is why it can actually outgrow the pace of online advertising growth and still be the biggest player in the game. It rides the rising tide while still pumping water under its surfboard.

image003

Google has almost consistently outgrown the adoption rate of web advertising. What does this mean? Well, it means that although Web advertising is getting bigger and more popular as a slice of the total advertising pie, Google is getting even bigger and more dominant in the space – not less. Google is beating competition back even as the market grows! 

Google ad growth

How does it do this? Google management thinks BIG, very BIG! Think about it...

Android - takes over mobile computing, literally! It has passed 900 million devices activated, with 48 billion app downads. That's nearly a billion, a force to be reckoned with for any developer, marketer or advertiser. Just two years ago, I had to cram this concept down the throats of develoepers and advertisers - One Reason Why Software Developers & Tech Firms Should Pay Close Attention To Research Boutiques Such As BoomBustBlog

Notebook computing that drives prices towards zero...

chromebook

Commercial speed internet access (1 Gbit) for the price of cable TV (that's 100x the speed of cable internet access, both ways - up and downstream), meet Google Fiber and understand that now 14 year olds can produce and distribute their own TV shose from their mommy's basement. Speaking of which...

YouTube- takes over visual media production and consumption, as they now have subscription video channels ala Netflix (accept iy can upload your own content) - YouTube confirms subscription model, and here are the partners ...

Self driving cars - self explanatory

Google Glass - transforms personal and mobile computing

I can go on, as a matter of fact, I think I will. Google has released some blockbuster products and flops, the key is they're not afraid to experiment, and like Microsoft, they don't give up at the first sign of failure. Remember, it often takes 99 "No's" to get one "Yes". Google Wallet is one such product. It faced extreme industry pushback, primarily because it stepped on too many toes, particularly those toes that spend a lot of money on lobbying (the banking and financial services industry). Now, it looks as if management is going grass roots, bringing the world's most ubiquitous "Free" email system to the ability to send money as an attachment. That's right, GMail now allows you to send cash as a simple attachment. This is much more convenient than PayPal, wiring funds, or practically anthing else I can think of.

 Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 11.24.11 PM

With this many projects in the pipeline, Google's revenue and profit potential dwarfs that of Apple - the purveyor of pretty, shiny things...

 Subscribers, click the following links for my updated price targets on Google (click here to subscribe):

The biggest risks to these price points are:

  1. A market that's being levitated by central bank magicians running short on magic spells...
  2. Regulatory pressure, which I feel is quite material and inevitable, but will not be a major factor in the near term. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Note: New research is available for subscribers at the bottom of this article.

This research report is going to be a bit different. As you know, I chose Google as my stock pick in the 2nd Annual CNBC Stock Draft – after winning it last year with Google. This (as with most of my public moves) proved to be both contrarian and controversial. There were other companies to choose from (which I will share with my subscribers over the upcoming weeks), but do to my father passing away and the fact that I run a subscription service, I did not have the time parse a pick that wasn't the purview of my subscription service.

Alas, Google will do just fine and I believe it has a very strong future – as long as the stock as long as the market doesn’t come crashing back to reality!

As per Google’s CEO, they “had a really strong start to 2013, with Q1 revenue up 31% year-on-year to $14 billion.” This tends to overshadow the real strength in Google’s performance, and that is its very significant investment in future products and innovations. Again, as per the CEO, “Over the last two years, we worked hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world.”

If you remember Apple’s Siri, you remember a microcosm of the universe in which Apple and Google exist, complete with their strengths and weaknesses. Apple is a marketing behemoth, but their engineering lacking in relation to their data hungry adversary. Google is an engineering behemoth, although their marketing may be a tad understated for certain shareholder’s tastes – and particularly when compared to Apple. Siri essentially is a flop. As for Google Now, Google’s version of Siri (which predated Siri)…

“Take Google now, our goal is to get you the right information at just the right time. Launched nine months ago, Now provides boarding passes, delivery updates, and traffic conditions without you having to ask first. In this quarter, we added movie tickets nicely packaged with directions to the theatre. I am also excited about our Voice Search momentum. Looking for the nearest pharmacy, just ask Google for directions, and we’ll deliver them instantly, no typing needed. And you can now ask conversational questions like do I need a jacket this weekend. Voice commands are going to be increasingly important, it's just much less hassle to talk than type.”

The importance of Google’s voice command technology cannot be understated. These are examples that I just used for those unfamiliar with the tech. 

As compared to the closest competitor, Apple's Siri...

These commands take even more precedent when viewed in context of Google's biggest launch of the year, Glass....

Google is in the final phases of launching a product, a product that is to personal productivity as the smart phone was to computing. The company is up about 10% since that video about a month and change ago...

Google since April 16th 2013

From the latest quarterly valuation update for BoomBustBlog subscribers (click here to subscribe): 

BoomBustBlog releases its updated valuation on Google Inc. The stock has registered a +47% return since our last valuation update in March 2012.

Google continues to play a dominant-leader role in the online advertisement and search market. Its market share in online advertisement has been consistently growing not only in the US, but also in the other geographies. Besides being a leader in the online advertisement market, the company has been continuously taking initiatives to broaden its product and service offering. The last year has seen a number of (now) well-known products.

The continuous endeavor to diversify product and services through sustained efforts in research & development forms an important component of our valuation. While we expect that the company will continue to grow its revenue off its leading space in the advertisement and search market, its ability to diversify its future revenue in different streams is a key to the current valuation. We therefore expect its revenue to grow along a more diversified route. This statement requires some explanation, for most still don’t seem to understand the Google business model. Google monetizes the vast majority of its initiatives through ad revenue. This causes many to label Google’s various ventures as a failure, due to being misled by cost shifting. Google cost shifts through a myriad of products, disrupting entire industries, then monetizes the results through “Ad Revenue”. Thus, looking for direct revenue streams from Android is fruitless in comparison to searching for strength in ad revenue bolstered by Android.

Google has almost consistently outgrown the adoption rate of web advertising. What does this mean? Well, it means that although Web advertising is getting bigger and more popular as a slice of the total advertising pie, Google is getting even bigger and more dominant in the space – not less. Google is beating competition back even as the market grows! 

Google ad growth

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Published in BoomBustBlog