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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Manipulation 101

Today an analyst at JMP Securities (interesting how its so similar to JPM.....accidental credibility perhaps) did the unthinkable and downgraded Apple. This sent the stock down nearly 5% on the day and spooked a lot of people. The time during options expiration week is pretty interesting, as well as how he ignored the insatiable demand for the iPad 2. But his reasons for downgrading are also very suspect. Here is a link to the WSJ discussing it.

He cites slowing sales growth at Hon Hai, the owner of the main manufacturer of some of Apple's products, as evidence that Apple is not producing as many products. Correlation does not imply causation. This is just ridiculous. You can look around at all the sold out iPads, the fact that Verizon now has 12% of the iPhone traffic and has only been selling them a month, and see that if anything, Apple is producing more!

His logic goes like this: Hon Hai's sales are decreasing. Hon Hai's makes Apple products. Therefore, Apple must not be producing as many products and sales will fall. How do we know they just aren't producing as many products for other people because people just want iPads and iPhones? Maybe they are just slowing down because of the Chinese New Year? Perhaps they just can't afford to make some products because they operate on razor thin margins and the drubbing of the dollar has made it unprofitable to make them anymore? I would take this report with a grain of salt.

I honestly would not be surprised if this firm has a short position in Apple and is just trying to manipulate the stock for their own gain. But it doesn't matter, because now you can get AAPL even cheaper!

Hopefully this guy will be banned from buying an  iPad!

Also, here is why there is a shortage of iPads.

Disclosure: I may or may not own any of the securities mentioned and am not an investment advisor. Please do your own due diligence before investing in any securities mentioned.


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