Apple analyst claims iPhone maker likely ‘obsolete’

Apple [AAPL] analyst claims iPhone maker likely ‘obsolete’

Apple HQ at 1 Infinite Loop.
Apple HQ at 1 Infinite Loop. (Photo by Joe Ravi, via Wikipedia share and share alike license 3.0)

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 – Another day, more nonsense, and heavy earnings reports en route. Stocks are up only a few points on all averages as of noonish today, making this just another summer doldrums afternoon on Wall Street. Likely bored with stocks’ meandering, the chattering classes spiced up the action this morning by trotting out the latest version of stupid Apple [AAPL] pundit tricks.

As CNBC reported on its website this morning, it was Pedro de Noronha’s big chance to bloviate on that network’s less and less popular cable channel and website. The managing partner at hedge fund Noster Capital, said “he was unsure about the Silicon Valley-based company’s long-term potential.”

‘I need to know where a company is going to be in 5-to-10 years. I mean look at Apple, a company we all admire…I don’t know where they are going to be in three years,’ Noronha told CNBC in a TV interview.


‘It’s a very competitive landscape. They might become obsolete in two-to-three years, as we’ve seen with dozens of technology companies.’

As for us? We need to know if Pedro is short AAPL.

The way things are going these days, even Microsoft and IBM might become obsolete in two-to-three years. But Pedro de Noronha’s business acumen is obsolete right now.

We continue to marvel at the countless analysts and pundits who fondly recall those halcyon days, circa 1985-1998 or so, when you could reliably attract attention to your dead-tree article bashing Apple and urging that company’s product users and investors to prepare a decent Viking funeral for that continually dying company. Writer John Dvorak built his entire early career on reliable nonsense like this.

Like Dvorak, not quite gone but mostly forgotten, de Noronha—a dude we’ve never heard of— is just going for the cheap quote, the easy-to-snag soundbite that will boost his visibility and/or career, not to mention the fortunes of his hedge fund, which, like most these days, is probably scrambling for customers, as their own methodologies themselves genuinely seem obsolete.

Since the death of Steve Jobs—during whose tenure the fashion on Wall Street was to predict world domination for Apple—the latest lemming move has been to trash this still hugely profitable company.

The previous over-praise of Apple was just as idiotic as the current trashing of the same company. But everyone goes along with the crowd to keep getting invited to the right parties thrown by the right people. As is often the case in investing itself, the trend is your friend, until it’s not.

It’s a marvel CNBC wastes time and ink on this kind of transparent trade puffing, but they’re all in the same sordid biz. That’s particularly true of CNBC’s interviewees, nearly all of whom are shamelessly and transparently talking their respective books.

At any rate, CNBC’s producers obviously managed to get a few paragraphs out of the Maven addressing this incredible waste of bandwidth. Maybe that’s just the way things work today. So vote for Pedro, already.

In more substantive news, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to change the moneymarket fund landscape forever. Read more about it today in our Prudent Man column.

READ ALSO: Is the SEC messing with your money market fund?

Today’s trades

We’re still laying low, picking off small numbers of shares (5 or 10 at a time) in our brokerage house’s in-house index-tracking ETFs but not much more.

We did make an impulsive purchase of Yahoo! (YHOO) shares a few days ago when they reported their usual miserable results, causing the stock to make its predictable swan dive.

But YHOO has been moving up since then and really took off this morning on rumors that its partial subsidiary, Alibaba—which plans an IPO likely in September—might actually have enough money to turn the tables and buy Yahoo! Effectively, this could put YHOO “in play” as professional investors like to say, which in turn could cause the stock to spike further. Perhaps much further.

So now the dilemma is, should the Maven buy some more at increasingly inflated prices? The Maven doesn’t know and is wishing for at least a temporary dip in the price, which thus far hasn’t happened. The Maven’s temporary decision is more dithering on buying more shares.

After all, if the rumor proves false, YHOO could tank again and quite quickly.

Aside from this and those little ETF nibbles, primarily in emerging markets, the Maven plans little else today.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17