Tags: Kass | Apple | king | dead

Doug Kass: Apple ‘Is Dead’

Monday, 28 Jan 2013 04:04 PM

By Dan Weil

Apple shares plunged more than 12 percent last week amid disappointment with the company’s earnings.

And hedge fund heavyweight Doug Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners, doesn’t see the stock resuming its steep ascent anytime soon.

“The king is dead. Long live the king,” he tells CNBC. “The company faces a much more difficult business landscape, the competition is escalating, and that’s going to challenge profitability over the next couple of years.”

Forbes Columnist:
‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

Apple’s net income rose less than 1 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 29 from a year earlier. And while its sales climbed 18 percent, that was the weakest increase in 3 ½ years.

The company is losing its first-mover advantage in products like smart phones and tablets, thanks to its heft, Kass says. Apple is going the way of Microsoft — a “large cash flow generator with limited secular earnings growth,” he maintains.

Apple’s stock hit a record high of $705.07 Sept. 21, but has plummeted 38 percent since then, closing Friday at $439.88. The stock regained 2.3 percent on Monday, to a preliminary close at $449.78.

Kass thinks it will trade between $425 and $500 for “as long as the eye can see.”

Others are bearish on Apple too. Sentiment “has sourced on the name, and the stock price reflects that,” Terry Sandven, chief U.S. equity strategist at U.S. Bank, tells The Wall Street Journal.

To be sure, the stock market has risen in the face of Apple’s decline, so apparently it isn’t much of a bellwether.

Forbes Columnist: ‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

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