• 19

    Nicu 5:10 pm on January 26, 2014 - 1455 days ago

    I have agonised quite a lot about the iPhone numbers and just a bit less about the iPad. I think that given that they succeeded in balancing iPhone demand and supply and that China Mobile was coming, they should have stuffed the channel with about 2.5M additional iPhones. Also, we had a huge new carrier in the quarter in Japan, one of the best markets for the iPhone. Stats in September were showing huge pent-up demand for the iPhone in the US, Samsung got killed all around the world, and production / distribution seems to have been very solid, at least given the 9M number for the first week-end.

    iPad air seemed to be very well received and despite Apple boasting they have plenty of them, they were still in short supply just after launch. This should at least sustain ASP and a minimum growth y/y.

    All in all, I may be again the most optimistic in several categories at once, and allowed myself to go almost $3B outside the box fixed by Apple for revenue and more than 1% outside the GM box. So please, take my numbers with a barrel of salt.

    • conshmillo

      conshmillo 7:43 pm on January 26, 2014 1455 days ago

      Thanks for posting those Nicu.

    • Nicu

      Nicu 8:48 pm on January 26, 2014 1455 days ago

      Overview of estimates here

      Of course I fully deserve to be slapped over my Q1-13 counter-performance. And I knew I would again be out of the herd with my out of the box numbers. And if I miss the iPhone number this will domino into revenue, GM and thus EPS will be doubly affected (from both missed revenue and GM). But I simply could not limit my freedom of thinking just to fit in the box ;)

      More about the Box: of course Apple knows better than anybody what’s going on. But nobody knows the future, and they made this estimates less than one month in the quarter. After so much pain for several years from the Great Copycat, how could they know it will just die like a fly? And as long as they were not able to produce enough iPhones, how could they know what the demand really is? Idem for the iPad that was not even released?

    • Nicu

      Nicu 9:33 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

      not good: 47.8M iPhone, 26M iPad, 4.8M Mac, 12.7M iPod, $57.6B rev., $14.5 EPS

      • Nicu

        Nicu 9:34 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

        shares down $24 from close, now it feels relatively good that I have sold most inflated calls

        • Nicu

          Nicu 9:35 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

          make that -$29

          • Nicu

            Nicu 9:47 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

            compared to open, not close :(

            • rastard

              rastard 10:15 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

              going down, down, down…

              After Hours: 505.89 -45.30 (-8.22%).

              Will she break $500?

            • Nicu

              Nicu 10:56 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

              I got bored with the earnings call for the first time I think; they make 5 min. phrases to try to show they are a growth company when the actual growth departed one year ago; almost as sickening as the french president showing a highly increasing graph and telling you it’s clearly starting to have strong tendency to go down (unemployment)

            • eatingbeets

              eatingbeets 11:41 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

              Agreed… Tim Cook is such a bummer. He may be a great supply chain manager but has absolutely zero sex appeal. Drop any hint about the watch or mobile payments. The analysts certainly gave him plenty of chances to plants some seeds of excitement and he failed.

      • Nicu

        Nicu 9:36 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

        they reported the iPhone number from last year, now they say 51M

        • Nicu

          Nicu 9:37 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

          in any case I’m still some 20% off, and as expected in this case, revs, GM and EPS predictions are useless

        • Nicu

          Nicu 9:39 pm on January 27, 2014 1454 days ago

          same for iPod, those guys are useless, it’s 6M, not 12.7M

      • conshmillo

        conshmillo 12:05 am on January 28, 2014 1454 days ago

        I got two things before earnings I wanted to write but didn’t. One, I thought if I take 5% off Nicu’s estimates I may get closer to final numbers. Two, I was wondering about unit sales because of new iOS7 which I dislike tremendously. (Birra is going to give me pain again). To me iPhone C was introduced to attract new blood, but it didn’t do so because of the shitty looking interface. A lot of existing users are not so easily willing to switch completely so they justify little non-sense here and there and little ugliness here and there. I didn’t buy any single new iOS7 device and neither I updated any of my many existing ones. Frankly, for me the thrill is gone with Steve’s departure and I pretty much do not give a shit about Apple. Just another tech whale run by bunch of bean counters. I mean come on, how long are they working on AppleTV? Or even smart watch which I do not give a crap about? For ever. All they are doing is some gradual updates to hardware and messing up software every year bit more. Still great but not good enough to get me excited. It makes me stuck because there is nothing good enough to switch to but also nothing exciting to stay for. Hell, years after introducing ipad you still can’t use it as a sketching pad? Fuck you Apple, really. Worst part is that one cannot wish for replacing Cook with someone else because it would probably mean that things would get even worse. Apple was kingdom. All of the departments can do their jobs greatly when king sets the direction and doesn’t accept any half ass results. King is gone and vision of Apple is gone with him.

        • piero

          piero 3:15 am on January 28, 2014 1453 days ago

          I’ll add that the price of the c and the iPad 2 were too high that few did buy something less performing for a little discount. I ended up in december buying the much better iPad mini than the 2 as many did.
          So, then some rich, snobbish and spoiled analyst rise the problem of lower margins if they were deciding to come up with a cheaper 5c or iPad 4.
          Lower margins? $20 Bl in a quarter are low? Plus other 30 for buyback and dividends? Are this lower margins? Do they read other listed companies margins or they just know that Giorgio Armani gains 300% on a belt or 600% on a pair of denim (and he doesn’t even think to be quoted to please those dirty guys!) ?
          What the f they’re talking about! They upgrade companies with a 10% of margins and downgrade one that has 38%? It’s just a joke a dirty joke played by all the major financial players world wide.

          But one thing I didn’t miss it: when Cook asked about the famous unexpected mix of c and s, answered that he’s not going to disclose lower prices planes, that means they soon will… So one hint at least!

        • Birra

          Birra 2:51 am on January 29, 2014 1453 days ago

          Consh thought you might enjoy this.

          MacDailyNews Take: What exactly don’t Cook et al. know what to do about iOS in the Car?

          For Jobs’ sake, Apple has more cash on hand than Intel is worth. The company could make virtually anything happen – with proper management.

          So, get a competent manager for iOS in the Car, assemble a team to assist any and all vehicle makers’ technology teams. Live at the vehicle makers if need be. In fact, pay the vehicle makers if need be. How about not losing a market due to inaction/lack of focus/self-delusional moves* for a fscking change? What is this, 1995?

          • Apple Maps. Oops, we’ll fix it after the fact. Mismanaged.

          • John Browett. Oops, bad fit (painfully obvious to everyone not named Tim Cook). Mismanaged.

          • iMac (Late 2012). Oops, missed Christmas 2012 (helping to plunge the stock price into the abyss) and, by not saving for March when it would actually be ready to ship, had nothing new to show for nearly a year. Mismanaged.

          • Losing control of the PR narrative which, oops, contributed to a Korean knock-off outfit being equated with, or even elevated above, the innovator’s products while also helping the bears and shorts to nearly halve the company’s stock price within 9 months (Sept. 2012 – June 2013). Mismanaged.

          • iTunes Radio. Oops, not fully baked and now languishing. Mismanaged.

          • iPhone 5c. Oops, obviously priced wrong and featured incorrectly. Mismanaged.

          • No iPhone with a screen larger than 4-inches – it’s now 2014 – despite a plethora of high-value customers who obviously want to buy one, but have turned to other platforms in order to get a smartphone with a larger screen. Oops. Mismanaged.

          • iOS in the Car. Mismanaged?

          Losing the vehicle integration battle, Apple, will go a long way towards losing the war.

          *one-handed interaction is concocted load of bullshit attempting to cover for not having a proper lineup of iPhones offering customers varied display sizes at even this late date.

          • conshmillo

            conshmillo 9:40 am on January 29, 2014 1452 days ago

            Birra don’t get me wrong. I do not root for Apple’s failure. I could have been Apple priest. I just point out things I don’t like when I see them. Sometimes it’s on them, sometimes (rarely :-) ) it’s me.

    • Birra

      Birra 3:23 pm on January 28, 2014 1453 days ago

      “Apple says it deferred $11.4 billion due to offering all this new software (like iWork and Mavericks) for free to customers.”

      This seems like a huge number. Can someone explain how this affected the bottom line?

      • Nicu

        Nicu 3:29 pm on January 28, 2014 1453 days ago

        they started doing this last year and accelerated last quarter; they will recognize it over 8 consecutive quarters; this means they simply subtract it from revenue (thus we see lower ASP and general GM) in the first 8 quarters (less and less impact towards the end), and then, assuming flat growth – which seems to be the case BTW – it’s not affecting things at all, as new revenue is deferred but old revs are recognized in the quarter

        I think they did this in order to have the right to offer software, OSs, updates etc. for free from an accounting point of view; their bet is that overall they will sell more hardware and this will make up for the loss of software revenues

        • Birra

          Birra 4:15 pm on January 28, 2014 1453 days ago

          Thanks Nicu. As Consh might say “bean counters”.

  • Nicu 3:00 pm on January 24, 2014 - 1457 days ago


    MaxPain as of yesterday’s close:
    • Jan 24: $550, total value of options $48.4M, generally small differences, e.g. $545 – $52.1M, $560 – $76.9M, $565 – $110.1M
    • Jan 31: $542.5-$545, both at $33.2M, even lower totals, e.g. $530 – $43.5M, $570 – $87.2M


    Nicu 8:40 pm on January 17, 2014 - 1464 days ago


    in Jan 24 $557.5 C @ 1.98 – if the theory is correct, then we should see the beginning of slingshot release after OE; I know of course this is BEFORE earnings, but they are so CHEAP :)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 3:09 pm on January 23, 2014 1458 days ago

      in more @ 50c – say the initial quantity is 1 lot, then I got 2 more of them for 3x the initial position (in # of options, not in $ spent)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 4:51 pm on January 23, 2014 1458 days ago

      in two more lots @ 25c – at this point all gains from the puts I got last week are in those stinky bets, so this is the end of this martingale ;)

      • conshmillo

        conshmillo 7:51 pm on January 23, 2014 1458 days ago

        By looking at open interest we will be getting 560 by tomorrow’s close. If 220 point drop in DJIA could not deter it, nothing will.

        • Nicu

          Nicu 7:06 pm on January 24, 2014 1457 days ago

          it seems that AAPL finally caved in to the general market and that I have chosen the bad moment to bet on very short positive movement – at least I have recovered almost all the gains from the previous puts play

      • Nicu

        Nicu 11:31 pm on January 23, 2014 1458 days ago

        out of those 2 lots @ $1.75 – had an open order for $2.5 for several hours, changed to $2 10 min. before close, changed to $1.75 2 min. before close; this covers the entire calls bet except a bit less than $100 total transaction fees

    • Nicu

      Nicu 4:11 pm on January 24, 2014 1457 days ago

      in 3 more lots @ 20c

      • Nicu

        Nicu 7:57 pm on January 24, 2014 1457 days ago

        out of all @ 3c – just to cover fees, but I still have the loss from those I got earlier @ 20c


    Nicu 6:20 pm on January 16, 2014 - 1465 days ago


    In Jan 18 $545 P @ 20c – very long shot based on the MapPain point

    • conshmillo

      conshmillo 6:31 pm on January 16, 2014 1465 days ago

      There is a nice 560 resistance line on 5 day chart. I am thinking they may have a trouble holding it there tomorrow. Going long.

    • Nicu

      Nicu 2:35 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

      out of 25% of those @ $1

      • conshmillo

        conshmillo 6:46 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

        $545. Great job Nicu!

        • Nicu

          Nicu 6:54 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

          Thanks ;) Isn’t the human folly beautiful?

          • conshmillo

            conshmillo 7:28 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

            I didn’t play weeklies. I’ve got 565 March calls. Still, these kind of plays will be available until the reflectivity kicks in. For now this seems to be working quite reliably. Will start doing some weeklies based on MaxPain/OI.

            • Nicu

              Nicu 7:46 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

              those were not exactly weeklies; they are Jan 2014 options that were available for years, that’s why there were so many open

            • conshmillo

              conshmillo 7:51 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

              Ah, I thought they are weeklies because you labeled them Jan 18.

            • Nicu

              Nicu 8:16 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

              because I did not know a better way to identify them in the see of available expirations ;)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 6:54 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

      out of 25% @ $2

    • Nicu

      Nicu 7:47 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

      out of 25% @ $1.56 on a trailing stop order

    • Nicu

      Nicu 8:10 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

      out of the last lot @ $3.5

    • Nicu

      Nicu 8:17 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

      834% gain in about 26 hours :D

    • Zee

      Zee 3:02 am on January 18, 2014 1463 days ago

      I didn’t tink that was a long shot, at all. I thought it was fish in a barrel. Kablooey! Kablooey! Kablooey! Because it was not unreasonable at all to see a pull back especially after TC’s formalized announcement. This was not purely a TA ting. Hmm. These are the kinds of moves you’re expected to make: iow low lying fruit. No?

      • Nicu

        Nicu 3:04 pm on January 21, 2014 1460 days ago

        When I bought OTM options one day before expiration, I did not think if was a sure bet at all. Looking back to the past, we always have 100% prediction accuracy.

        Exercice: I hold those $557.5 C expiring this Friday, bought for $2 (not $1.98 as I have posted, it turns out). They trade just below that now. Do you think it is fish in a barrel? I do not thinks so, but willing to bet I have a good shot at a quick buck ;)

        • Zee

          Zee 10:09 pm on January 21, 2014 1460 days ago

          Icahn entered the picture; and around sub 400 a new upward trend started. But. Otherwise. The way I think the stock has been behaving is to price in anticipatory things and then upon formalized announcements the air comes out. And because of the frequency and amplitude it seems that pattern wise there’s a binary behavior: that being up or down and by how much. Hmm. Me thinks your current contract looks realistic. And I thought the other one was very reasonable. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I thought it was sort of sublime and beautiful. The antithesis of the notorious black swan. The only reason it might not have been a sure thing is you never know which way the wind will blow. And it’s not always the wind but what the wind is blowing. Cheers.

          • Zee

            Zee 5:44 pm on January 22, 2014 1459 days ago

            There you go. It hit $557.27 on the news that’s now all over the web that Icahn has raised his stake to $3 B over the last 2 wks. And it’s only Wednesday. He’s been Tweeting too. Bitch bitch bitch! LOL. Anyway. He’s an example of what the
            wind is blowing that’s hitting the company and its stock. Call it the Carl effect.

            On another note. Blackberry looks interesting. Citron Research has targeted it at $15. And their competitor VMWare just bought I think it’s AurWatch for $1.54 B. VMWare actually has a mkt cap of $42.58 B. BB’s new CEO John Chen is having a profound effect on BBYR. Yesterday they announced they’re selling off most of the company’s Cabadian real estate. That’s almost unimaginable considering how pride affected the company’s past moves. Chen will slash and burn anything to survive and win out. You might like the stock cause you can play it very dispassionately.

  • 5

    Nicu 6:26 pm on January 15, 2014 - 1466 days ago

    Is $520, but quite flat from $500 to $540, so not a very good predictor this time. I have put three zooms of the graph here, the scale on the left is the total value of all existing option as of yesterday’s close, in millions $. Of course, this value depends on the closing price this Friday, and that is the X axis.

    It looks however that it should not close above $550, so there may be a very risky short play here ;)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 6:27 pm on January 15, 2014 1466 days ago

      images have been chopped a bit to the right, you may right click and open each one in a new tab, enjoy!

    • SB

      SB 7:59 pm on January 15, 2014 1466 days ago

      I sometimes refer to Travis Lewis’ charts on He has weekly and monthly options charts. His show Put and Call OI, and he gives a probability range. Interesting how different the current monthly and weekly charts, are, though – weekly has an 80% range of $530-$560, monthly doesn’t have a range specified this month, but is similarly flat to yours between 505 and 545. Not sure what to make of it.

      • Nicu

        Nicu 8:39 pm on January 15, 2014 1466 days ago

        I have a feeling he only shows the graphs of Open Interest but does not calculate MaxPain: the price at which the share should close at expiration so that the total value of all open options (calls + puts) have the lowest total value. My graph show that total value as a function on the closing price on expiration, just barely above $1.5B near $520 price. There is no conspiracy, the price goes there mechanically, as most of the time open contracts are covered by long or short shares and as option contracts are opened / closed, MMs trade the shares correspondingly.

        I am planning to implement another tool which will give the present sentiment about the closing price at expiration, computed from the actual price of options. Open interest only shows a trace of history at best and a mild wind that will push the price towards MaxPain. No promise on timing :)

        • SB

          SB 7:07 pm on January 16, 2014 1465 days ago

          ah, here’s his explanation:

          The original Max Pain theory uses dollar value to conclude where a stock will expire, at an exact strike. Using dollar value misses some very key stock moves or stalls. Switching to OI as a Max Pain range is far superior for trading as we can observe and prepare for probable breakouts or breakdowns. Not only can we be privy to how a stock will react at each strike, our probability using a range instead of a single strike is greatly improved.

        • conshmillo

          conshmillo 6:48 pm on January 17, 2014 1464 days ago

          Where do you get the data for open interest? Do you jot it down manually and then plot it? This needs to be automated and put up there. At least for stocks we trade constantly.

  • Nicu

    Nicu 6:44 pm on January 8, 2014 - 1473 days ago

    Exactly what I was talking about in the other trade a couple of days ago, only that for me it was rather expected instead of “later-than-expected ” :)



    Nicu 12:05 am on January 8, 2014 - 1474 days ago


    in Jan 31 $580 C @ $6

    • Nicu

      Nicu 10:12 pm on January 9, 2014 1472 days ago

      in more @ $5

    • Nicu

      Nicu 3:16 pm on January 10, 2014 1471 days ago

      more @ $4

    • SB

      SB 6:50 pm on January 10, 2014 1471 days ago

      Any reason you are sticking with the 580s instead of improving as the price falls? 570s are now cheaper than your initial 580 buy.

      • Nicu

        Nicu 12:09 am on January 11, 2014 1471 days ago

        I might buy the spread to lower the strike indeed, last time I checked yesterday it was a bit too much for my taste (I do not want to limit the upside to a theoretical max of 400% gain when I take so much risk).

        In one word, my answer is ‘greed’ :)

    • Nicu

      Nicu 8:46 pm on January 24, 2014 1457 days ago

      more @ $3.95 – had an open order for $3.75 for some time, but by the time I was done with the bedtime story, I was chasing the price :(

    • Nicu

      Nicu 2:37 pm on January 28, 2014 1453 days ago

      out of all at 5c

  • Nicu 10:06 am on January 4, 2014 - 1477 days ago


    Hi everyone :)
    Could you please tell me what online broker you could recommend for a friend of mine who wants to change in the US? Negatives are also appreciated to know what to avoid. Thanks a lot.

    • conshmillo

      conshmillo 7:13 pm on January 4, 2014 1477 days ago

      What does he have? For research and software TDAmeritrade is great since they bought Think or Swim. They don’t have the best commission prices so that part depends on frequency of his trading.

      • Nicu

        Nicu 8:33 pm on January 4, 2014 1477 days ago


        He became a day trader in a few months (!!!) and he was using his bank account + trading account with fees about $30 – anything would be better, he has just asking where he should try.

    • roger

      roger 1:27 am on January 7, 2014 1475 days ago

      Another one to check out is

      Trades are around 1 to 2 dollars. They charge a minimum of $10/month, so you will pay at least that much if you don’t have $10 in commissions. They have offices in Canada, so USD/CAD exchanges are cheap and easy.

  • 2

    Nicu 5:34 pm on December 27, 2013 - 1485 days ago

    I am not as convinced as he is, but I definitely believe AAPL is undervalued, earnings will bring some unexpected news and guidance will be shattering some current beliefs. I expect maybe new all time highs in 2014 but I would not go as far as pronouncing the four digits number :)


    • SB

      SB 11:40 pm on December 28, 2013 1484 days ago

      Yeah, I’m not betting on $1000. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me ….

    • JPWatkins

      JPWatkins 6:45 pm on January 2, 2014 1479 days ago

      $1200 is where I actually “value” AAPL.
      Will it get to $1000? Yes, but I won’t hold my breath till it does.
      [And unlikely in 2014, but I continue to hang in there.]

  • 1

    Nicu 12:36 pm on December 26, 2013 - 1486 days ago

    Not that we didn’t know, but it’s clearly stated and justified :)


    • Zee

      Zee 8:21 am on December 27, 2013 1485 days ago

      That’s human nature. No. Corporate behavior seems to only posture re morals and ethics but is ultimately led by what’s legally advantageous to the bottom line and obstructs competition. Steve did a good job playing the two roles in one. Did he ever.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help