Tim Cook critic is buying Apple because Cook has Trump’s ear (video)

“It’s one of the stocks I feel better about in a very turbulent market.” — Steve Weiss, Short Hills Capital

Transcribed from Weiss’ appearance on CNBC’s Halftime Report Tuesday:

I’ll give you five reasons:

    • I like the fact that [Tim] Cook tends to have the ear of the President. He’s one if the few people that can walk both sides. He transferred some production recently to China, but yet he still has Trump’s ear and Trump spoke positively about the arguments he made about the competitive disadvantage to Samsung they would suffer if they continue with the tariffs.
    • One of my major criticisms of Apple was that historically they’ve been very arrogant in their launch of competing technology, such as functionality on phones versus the competition’s. In other words, they relied on their brand to unseat the competition by coming out with a camera Samsung had come out with before. I’m noticing a decided change in this strategy because they’ve recently become more aggressive. They bought Intel’s modem business and that will allow them to get their 5G launch quicker… I think 5G will be the biggest upgrade cycle that we’ve seen in many many iterations of the iPhone. Bigger than had been expected for the iPhone X but didn’t occur…
    • I also had concerns about the budget that they were putting toward streaming. It was going to be a billion dollars. Now if reports are true coming out of that’s now $6 billion… [Apple disputing]
    • In line with the aggressiveness, they traditionally don’t reveal pricing until the product comes out. They released it [?] today, apparently. They’re not waiting for the competition, they’re going head to head with Disney.
    • If you take a look at a long-term chart of their stock, you’ll see that they’ve always outperformed down markets, and they’ve always outperform the indices. Now we make a big deal it being up since the bottom in January, but if you look at the gap, it’s closing divergence. And this can go again to not just a—forget about the multiple—but to outperforming consistently versus the averages.

So I do see the stock making new highs. I do like the fact that they are buying back shares because that increases your holdings per share without having to have the growth. So for all those reasons I added to [my holdings] significantly. It’s one of the stocks I feel better about in a very turbulent market.


— CNBC Halftime Report (@HalftimeReport) August 20, 2019

My take: Last time we heard from Weiss, Apple was in free-fall and he was happily piling on. See Watch CNBC bears kick Apple on the way down (video)


  1. Scott Davis said:

    Steve “Late to the Party” Weiss – I can’t even remember all the times he dissed AAPL as another short-term Wall Street shill (“They’re not Innovating!!!”) These guys (with the exception of Josh Brown, who is actually pretty sharp) are for entertainment purposes only. Better late than never, Steve.
    ’nuff said.

    – Dr. Scott

    August 21, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:

    Weiss is late to the table, as are so many Wall Streeters.

    Frankly, the brain trust, and the analysis generated by it, here impresses more than any WS “Pro”, and it’s done WITHOUT the benefit of institutional “research” resources.

    It’s a shame that Apple 3.0 doesn’t publish “Research” notes based on a consensus view. I’m confident the notes we publish would soon have great value in the wild.

    August 21, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:

    Ironically, it’s nice to see S. Weiss’ ideas laid out in text, especially, “…very arrogant in their launch of competing technology..” This shows he has no clue.

    All of us who follow Apple know that Apple waits and gets it right. The only time Apple was late (maybe) was offering the larger screen. Even then, it’s not clear that Apple lost any customers.

    That said, give Weiss credit for seeing Apple as safe in a down market. Today investors face a dilemma with over-priced high flyers and very low yield “safe” investments.

    August 21, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:

      “Ironically, it’s nice to see S. Weiss’ ideas laid out in text, especially, “…very arrogant in their launch of competing technology..” This shows he has no clue.”

      The example Weiss used to illustrate Apple’s “arrogance” was pretty telling as to his own lack of technical knowledge.

      Samsung introduces a a gazillion mega pixel camera. Apple introduces superior camera software.

      The result is iPhone cameras compete very well, if not better, than Samsung cameras.

      Weiss’ analysis is spec driven, not performance-driven. For that reason alone I wouldn’t trust his analysis, even when it’s pro-Apple.

      August 21, 2019
      • David Drinkwater said:

        Well, also, what would one expect:

        “historically they’ve been very arrogant in their launch of competing technology,”

        Should Apple advertise that “our new cameras are totally derivative, and basically, all our specs are lower, so you can clearly expect to get crap photos from our phone, but we know you’ll have it with you, so the DSLR that you bought and put to rest in the back passenger seat of your Audi will offer you no comfort”?

        Of course Apple is going to pitch their stuff!!!

        And they should, too, because it is actually really good.

        August 22, 2019

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