After you have received this Alert, I am going to buy 100 shares of Apple (AAPL) at around $213.41. This is a new position in the fund, and it is one of the hottest technology companies in the world. It designs, manufactures and markets personal computers, portable digital music players and mobile communications devices.
Its most popular products are its Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone. Its software includes the Mac OS X operating system, the iTunes media browser, the iLife suite of multimedia/creative software, the iWork suite of productivity software and Final Cut Studio for professional audio and film industry software. It has over 250 retail stores in nine countries and has its own direct sales force but also sells through third-party distributors and has an online store as well.
I have liked the Apple story for some time, as it's one of the purest ways to play the "mobile tsunami" phenomenon. (I own other tech stocks on the basis of this theme, including Qualcomm (QCOM), China Unicom (CHU), Intel (INTC) and Cisco (CSCO)), and I want to take advantage of the fact that I am not restricted in the position currently.) Shares have had a great run so far, but I believe 2010 will continue to see strong momentum driven by its strong competitive position, structural advantages, vertical integration and -- most importantly -- its new product launches.
I expect the company will have a strong upcoming quarter (and management's typically conservative guidance could actually be stronger than expected), driven by its three major products, with particular strength in its iPhone. There is speculation that the company could ship 9.5 million iPhones (consensus is at 8.8 million) in its upcoming quarter, which would be a record (it shipped 7.4 million units last quarter, which was a record). Its rival Research In Motion's (RIMM) shipped 10.1 million BlackBerries in its most recent quarter. Apple's Mac business should also see a pickup to 2.85 million units, driven by newly released wide-screen iMacs and MacBooks. And I expect iPods to continue to be strong, with 20 million units sold.
These results should help the company handily beat management's guidance of $1.70 to $1.78 in earnings per share and $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion in revenue (consensus is higher -- $2.04 and $11.9 billion). But the real excitement will come with the upcoming product announcement of the Tablet (rumored to be called iSlate or Magic Slate), which could be officially announced at the end of January for shipment in March and could add meaningfully to earnings, revenue and margins.
The Tablet is a combination netbook/smartbook/e-reader, and it will have better features (email, Web browser to watch movies/TV/playing games, access to Apple's Apps store) and functionality (superior operating system) than current products in the market and will likely be priced at a premium (could fetch $750 vs. the Kindle's $259-$489). This product alone could add 25 cents to Apple's bottom line (1.2 million units at $750 with 40% gross margins) that is not currently in analyst estimates.
I want to be in front of this announcement. I believe this stock should trade at a premium to its long-term 20% growth rate, especially since 2010 should be a stronger growth year. My target is $300.
I am also going to add 500 shares to the Intel (INTC) position at $20.96. 2010 will be an exciting year for Intel, driven by new products, better demand and its strong competitive position. I expect the firm to continue to find ways to reward shareholders like it did last month with its dividend boost (the stock yields 2.7%). Revenue should gradually recover throughout the year, driven by better demand in the consumer (netbooks, laptops and desktops -- Windows 7) and from corporations (stronger IT budgets, PC replenishment and INTC's Nehalem microprocessor launch).
Margins will expand as well this year from the transition to 32nm chips (lower cost yet higher ASPs and yields), improving utilization rates, lean inventories and new products -- Arrandale (for smartphones) and the Nehalem microprocessor. Intel lagged both its peers and the Nasdaq in 2009, but I believe it's poised to be one of the strongest tech plays for 2010. It currently trades at 12 times 2010 earnings vs. its 11-to-15-times historical range, and ahead of an expected strong PC cycle, the stock is too cheap here.
After my trade I will own 100 shares of AAPL, or 0.70% of the portfolio, and 2,300 shares of INTC, or 1.57%.