Daniel Eran Dilger – a very sharp, maybe even “edgy” Apple commentator who has done much to raise the profile of AppleInsider since he signed on there as a contributor – wrote an excellent piece on Apple’s “survival prospects” amidst the oft-lionized, oft-conflated competition that is Android. It’s a highly recommended read.
You don’t need true belief, just a decent breadth of knowledge of Apple’s past and present to objectively determine that Apple is very much on a survival trajectory. Barring any worrisome missteps that I’m constantly watching for, Apple is already a Wal-Mart, a Disney, an IBM. Some in the media just don’t know it yet.
But here at the AAPL Tree, some of the three readers, along with your humble correspondent, might be looking a bit beyond that.
Wal-Mart (14.7 multiple), Disney (19.1 multiple) and IBM (13.2 multiple) all have one thing in common – a blue-chip reputation on Wall Street. Fair to say that Apple (9.5 multiple)…doesn’t right now. Never mind that over the past five years, Apple has had the utterly superior growth story. It’s all “what have you done for me lately” over at Wall Street, and really, Apple’s deceleration (in results) has taken most all of us by surprise.
What Wall Street, AAPL longs and/or upside traders are looking for (in my opinion) is a sign that Apple will at least begin to grow again on a consistent, year-over-year (YOY) quarterly compare basis. And as is common with companies under the electron scanning microscope, it’s earnings growth that matters the most. (Amazon? Netflix? Move along, nothing to see here. Dividends, buybacks? Only the thinnest of support for Apple.) This is partly why my blog exists. To track and estimate fundamentals from guidance, trends, and what little intel there is to go on. To overview the drivers of and impediments to Apple’s growth. To search for signs of growth.
It just ain’t happening in fiscal Q3 this year, in my opinion. Maybe not even fiscal Q4. But I’ll be watching as best I can. And I hope you’ll tag along for the ride.