Let's do a little case study. As of this writing, Apple's stock sits at $461 a share, up about 18 percent from its late April low. You may recall how around that low we were fêted to one story after another about how doomity doomed Apple was because the masters of the universe that run Wall Street are never wrong about anything. Take, for example, Forbes contributor, Peter Cohan.
In the last two weeks of April, Cohan wrote four pieces about Apple: "7 Reasons Apple is More Doomed Than You Think" (which the Macalope took on at the time and was about as dumb as you might expect), "5 Keys To Apple's Earnings Report" (a moderately straightforward "what to look for" piece), "Is Apple the Next Dell?" (seriously) and "Samsung Trouncing Apple".
Because there are only so many hours in the day and stupidium is a seemingly inexhaustible resource, the Macalope never got to those last two pieces, so let's take a quick look before we get to today's real point.
Cohan's comparison of Apple to Dell hinges on Apple's stock repurchasing plan, which the company is financing with debt rather than repatriate cash and face a large tax bill. Dell, meanwhile, has seen its stock languish around the average Belieber age for four years and faces the unenviable task of moving from selling cheap hardware to selling cheap software and services.
"...Apple is throwing its cash overboard to keep Wall Street's sharks at bay."
Fortunately, it's got an entire ocean of cash.
"And if Cook fails, Apple's growth would slow down and its fans could turn it into a steady cash generator - ripe for a leverage buyout."
He wrote that.
The Macalope will let you stare dumbfounded at it for a moment, because some things are so inexplicable they're hard for the human brain to process.
How about that trouncing Samsung is giving Apple?
"When it comes to retaking its mojo, Apple not only needs to deal with its internal weaknesses, it must also out-innovate a powerful competitor that is firing on all cylinders."
By slapping big screens on everything.
Suffice it to say that Apple's share decline had Cohan all a-flutter, banging out twice-weekly missives about Apple's myriad woes. Naturally, now that Apple's stock has climbed back up 18 percent, he's surely followed up to HAHAHAHA and, yes, the Macalope couldn't say that with a straight face if an adorable kitten's life depended on it. Sorry, Mr. Scratches!
No, Cohan has been strangely silent on Apple for the last two weeks. Certainly it's not because he feels chastened at all. Remember, being a pundit means never having to say you're sorry. Fear not. The Macalope is sure he'll be back anon to tell us how dumb investors are for thinking Apple is anything but doomed.