This is a guest post from Marcus Holland. I don't endorse nor necessarily agree with the opinion and research expressed herein, and it is supplied as an OpEd piece only.
Apple Stock (NYSE:AAPL) is trading slightly lower despite news that the company colluded with five major U.S. publishers to drive up the prices of e-books in the months ahead of the technology company entering the market in 2010. Option volatility in the wake of this news, has declined slightly and sentiment surrounding the company has remained strong.
In a civil antitrust lawsuit, the Department of Justice claimed that Apple agreed with the 5 publishers in January 2010 to allow them to increase prices for best sellers and new releases in response to publisher Amazon.com $9.99 price point for those books on Amazon.com Inc.
The judge will likely schedule a hearing on a request by the Justice Department for injunctive relief, which could include requirements that Apple not enter into another agency agreement to sell e-books for a two-year period.
Despite the blow to Apple the stock technically remains sound after recently testing support near 390 per share. Resistance on the stock is seen near the 50-day moving average near 433. Momentum on the stock is gaining traction as the MACD has recently generated a buy signal. This occurs when the spread (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crosses above the 9-day moving average of the spread. The RSI (relative strength index) is printing in the middle of the neutral range near 50, well below the overbought levels of 70 and and above the oversold levels of 30.
Implied volatility on AAPL edged higher, prior to the release of the decision and ahead of earnings in the coming weeks. The recent lows near 25% represent an excellent opportunity to purchase volatility, while levels near 45% reflect a robust place to sell volatility. At the current levels near 30%, options traders who are bullish on the stock could use a risk reversal and use the skew on the puts to benefit from the structure. The structure mitigates the effect of implied volatility on a directional play.
In a risk reversal the investor will purchase a call and use the proceeds of a sold put to finance the trade. A trade that would allow an investor to earn theta is an August 450-390 risk reversal in which the investor collect 10s cents by purchasing the 450 call for $5.20 and selling the 390 put for $5.30. By using recent support at $390, and investor has a good spot to purchase the stock if Apple’s stock turns lower.
Comments from Reggie on the fundamental side...
The Apple Profit Engine Has Stalled & Is Rolling Downhill
Apple is facing a shart decline in the margins of its top two value drivers. May I also add that these two value drivers are 83% of Apple's revenues and an even greater portion of its profits. Such a drastic concentration in only two products who have reached their zenith is not a good thing!
Click the graphic once to view, twice to enlarge to printer quality...
Apple's Competition Is The Greatest It Has EVER Been!
Apple's competition is the greatest it has ever been, and features companies who are literally at the top of their game. We are talking a lot of companies, and at the top of a very difficiult game as well. Reference What Sell Side Wall Street Doesn't Understand About Apple - It's Not The Leader Of The Post PC World!!!
Apple is Materially & Quickly Losing Global Market Share! Clear Indicators Of Permanent Downward Moves In Its Peer Group
Apple is rapidly losing global market share over and the trend is worsening. This has ALWAYS signaled the beginning of the end for its peers. Reference Is Tim Cook Cooked? Market Share vs Profit Margin, part 2 - Follow What I Do, Not What I Say!
For those who don't subscribe and/or haven't already seen it, here is the video that tells (nearly) all about Apple, from beginning (Q3 2010) to end.
Of course, there is a point at which Apple is a good buy. After all, they have a lot going for them. The question du jour is, exactly what is that point? I refer my subscribers to the research documents below for the answers...
Subscribers, download the Q3 2013 valuation reports (click here to subscribe).
- Apple 3Q2013 Valuation Update - Retail
- Apple 3Q2013 Valuation Update - Pro & Institutional
The update from two months ago is also of value for those who haven't read it. It turns out that it was quite prescient!