Sunday, 03 November 2013 14:44

Again, The Sell Side Analysts (Even The Rock Star Analysts) Don't Seem To Understand The Mobile Computing Wars Featured

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Last week in Reggie Middleton's Apple Q4 2013 Analysis: RDF In Full Effect As Analysts & Press Go GaGa Over Garbage! I wrote:

Apple Still Has The Business and Financial Press Mesmerized With It’s RDF (Reality Distortion Field)

For some reason when I read management comments and financial statements I seem to see something totally different from Sell Side Analysts and the financial and business press. This is an excerpt from “Business Insider” on Apple’s Q4 earnings results:

The stock initially tanked after the numbers were out thanks to weaker than expected margin guidance. Apple guided to 36.5%-37.5%, which suggests a flat margin despite a new iPhone. 

On the company's earnings call, it explained why margin was lighter than expected and the stock came roaring back. At last check it was down slightly in after hours trading. 

Apple's margin will be hit by a combination of factors. It is selling new iPads that cost more to make, new laptops, foreign exchange issues, and most importantly, a $900 million sequential increase in deferred revenue thanks to all the software it is giving away with iOS and Macs. 

On the earnings call, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said the real margin would have been closer to 38.5%, and Apple basically confirmed it. This sent the stock climbing. 

Apple's margins have been and will be hit harder as I've predicted.  This non-sense about the deferred revenue from giving away software and Gene Munster's "real margin" comments are utter nonsense. Apple's reported margin IS ITS "REAL MARGIN"! The reason it is giving away its core software products for free is to compete with the entry and the threat of Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet that comes bundled with a real, the real, office suite - Microsoft Office. This makes it real deal contender in the enterprise, where Office is not on the de facto standard - it is the standard. It also has to compete with Google's Android who bought Quick Office and is now giving that office suite for free. For those who don't think that makes a difference, what OS do you think took the iPad from 92% market share in 2010 to 32% market share last quarter?

Let me add to this since both Gene Munster and I are both frequent CNBC guests:

gene munster aapl forecast

On the same network, I recommended an Apple short:

If you did this investment thing to actually make money, who do you think CNBC should have on more regularly???

Well, my analysis has been vindicated once again, as per the NextWeb

KitKat ships with Google’s Quickoffice, bringing Microsoft Office editing out of the box to all new Android users

With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google’s biggest blow to Microsoft isn’t against Windows Phone. It’s against Microsoft Office. You see, KitKat ships with Quickoffice, letting you edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go, without paying a dime, straight out of the box.

This tidbit was largely lost in the news yesterday, given the large number of improvements and new features that KitKat offers. Yet it’s a very big deal: every Android user that upgrades to KitKat will get Google’s Quickoffice, and every new Android device (starting with the Nexus 5) that ships with KitKat or higher will get access to Quickoffice.

office anywhere 730x457 KitKat ships with Googles Quickoffice, bringing Microsoft Office editing out of the box to all new Android users

Google acquired Quickoffice back in June 2012. In December 2012, the company released Quickoffice for iPad, making it exclusively available for free to its Apps customers. In April 2013, it followed up with free Android and iPhone versionsfor Apps customers as well. Last month, Google released Quickoffice for free, making it available to all Android and iOS users.

Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Microsoft shot itself in the foot here. Sure it finally released Office Mobile for iOS in June and Office Mobile for Android in July, but there was one small problem: an Office 365 subscription was and still is required.

In other words, Microsoft matched Google’s deal. Now Google has hit back and undercut Microsoft once again, and this blow might be the biggest yet.


Click here to subscribe or purchase this update. Paid subscribers click here: File Icon Apple 4Q2013 preliminary update. As we wait for my elfin magicians and presdigitation analysts to finsih up on the updated valuation numbers, I'm quite comfortable in recommending subscribers adhere to the latest set of valuation numbers proffered in the last Apple update. 

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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