Is this Apple run real?

Questions about the tech giant's ability to innovate without Steve Jobs loom as large at $440 as they did at $385.

By TheStreet Staff May 1, 2013 1:04PM

thestreet logoThe Apple Inc. logo is displayed on the back of the new MacBook Pro David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Rocco Pendola

 

Despite the pumped-up stock price, the situation at Apple (AAPL) hasn't changed much.  

 

Tweets from two prominent financial media personalities illustrate what we're seeing in the competing marketplaces of hard reality and emotionally driven fantasy: 


@JeffMacke "Issuing debt to raise your stock price is like trying to lift yourself off the ground by your own ears ... but screw that, it's $AAPL." 


@EricJackson "Remember when Apple couldn't innovate? That was so $55 ago."

 

Adding color to the Macke and Jackson tweets, here's why AAPL, via TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia, was up 3% Tuesday and nearly 11% over the last five days: Apple sells $17 billion in largest debt offering ever.

 

Macke is 100% correct. And the great Canadian Jackson knows better.

 

As if this jump in AAPL has anything to do with its ability to innovate. Absolutely no relationship exists between Apple's long-term prospects under Tim Cook and the recent bounce in its stock. 

 

On Tuesday I wrote on TheStreet: Nobody can touch Apple today. It's a great company with great products that require iterations, not overhauls. There's nothing uncertain about Apple's present dominance; even as headline after headline misinterprets Samsung's apparent lead over iPhone.

 

Remember, Apple executes a very different strategy (TheStreet) than Samsung or Google (GOOG). It's not about market share. And, if Tim Cook makes it about market share, Apple's really in trouble.

 

It's bad enough that he's pulling out all the stops to satisfy the same people Steve Jobs viewed as pests. Not only did Cook capitulate to shareholder demands with the original dividend and buyback, he turned his nose to the Apple way twice as hard by taking out debt to finance an even bigger return of cash to investors. 

We now live in a world where hedge fund managers call the shots at Apple (TheStreet) in coordination with the CEO. Not good. This move wins Cooks some goodwill and, as Macke basically stated, artificially sends the stock higher.

 

Tim Cook has done nothing to address the concerns that will dictate Apple's long-term fate. He inspires about as much confidence as the imprecise James Balsillie did back in the days of BlackBerry's (BBRY) implosion.

 

If you're trading this move in AAPL, fantastic. Just be careful. Trading burns lots of people. Don't confuse it with investing. And don't confuse AAPL with an investable stock. Questions about Apple's ability to innovate without Steve Jobs loom as large at $440 as they did at $385.

 

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1Comment
May 1, 2013 7:26PM
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The hedge funds are now no longer interested, but the corporate raiders are whetting their chops. Without assets and with debt this company could possibly be taken apart and pieces sold to Google and Samsung.
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