Apple reported earnings last night which beat already lowered expectations. Little surprise. Under-promise over deliver as usual. However, guidance was very poor. That has not stopped the usual Apple groupies from proclaiming that Apple has become a value stock with a growing dividend and share buybacks. This is completely false.
On the surface Apple appears to the layman cheap. Compared to 2013 earnings expectations, Apple trades at a 9 P/E and a forward P/E of 8.3. What more could a value investor want? The reason that Apple is trading at a low valuation because everyone expects earnings to decline in the future. This is a key aspect which most investors fail to realize. When a non-cyclical stock trades at a P/E of lower than 10, the market is expecting declining earnings--analysts just have not realized this yet. In fact the market is expecting a sharp decline of at least 20% compared to analyst's 49.00 in earnings expected for FY 2014. The concept that Apple is cheap is noting more than a stock market mirage created to suck in low-informed investors into a massive value trap. If anything, Apple is a short not a buy at $414 a share. Expect it to steadily decline over the next year as more and more investors realize that the growth will disappoint to the downside.
And remember--those stock buybacks are nothing more than a waste of shareholder money. Buying back stock at inflated prices when earnings are declining is a recipe for disaster. I pity anyone owning Apple (e.g Greenlight Cap and about a billion other hedge funds). The Apple Titanic is sinking, better abandon ship before the whole thing sinks and there wont be enough lifeboats for everyone.
Black Swan Insights.