I reckon the recent market boom is a sign of desperation where people are struggling to know what to do with cash. I don't believe the fundamentals have changed that much. Increased inventory is a bad sign.
Before I say anything Analysts;I highly recommend you read these Analyst recommendations for where Apple's stock was supposed to be (according to the Biggest and Greatest Analysts).
Given that most of these recommendations were made sometime around September-October 2012(& then revised in most cases Upwards);even a Child can tell you that most Analysts are nothing but Trend-Followers.
90% of All So-called Analysts can't think outside the Box.
See how few Analysts are even close to today's Apple Stock price(only Two).
And how has Apple done since it Topped out in September 2012?Its lost an amazing 35%!!!
Still the fools stick to their Targets!!!
Now I hope you know why most Analysts are clueless and not worth following at all.
That's the thing;If you trust Chinese Data(which I don't);then China is strolling along at Growth Rates of more than 8%;which I don't believe one bit.
China is most definitely not growing at more than 4% today(irrespective of what the Communist party tells you).
The US is muddling along at a Growth rate of 1% or so;While Europe is definitely contracting.
That leaves Central and South America,Africa,Rest of Asia(excluding Japan and China).
That's a Huge Number of people there(More than 3 Billion) many of whom have the same Needs and Desires as the Three Big Demand Centres;but they have a much lower purchasing Power than the Three Big Demand Centres.
If the Semiconductor Industry focusses on their Needs more(for Low cost electronic Products-similar to what India is doing with the Aakash 2 and Aakash 3 tablets);then there is hope for the semiconductor Industry.
But this kind of a transistion will need a lot of effort from the Industry as a whole (and will send Shivers down Apple's Spine)-No wonder the Stock is sinking rapidly today.
Ashish, Okay. I hear you loud and clear but please extend the analysis to the rest of the global economy. The numbers you've referenced are all Japanese. What's going on elsewhere? Does your crystal ball point to humdrum growth elsewhere?
The Japanese Yen has lost an incredible 27% of its Value vs the Euro,A not so insignificant 19% of its value vs the US Dollar and a Whopping 21% vs the British Pound since 1st January 2012;Inspite of this amazing Boost to Japanese Exports;Japan's Exports still fell.
We are staring at a massive Slowdown if ever there was one.
If this is'nt a clear indication of how difficult a Phase our Economy is passing through I don't know what is.
In November Japanese Exports to China of Semiconductors were down by 17% YoY!!!
In November Total Japanese Exports were down 14.5%; in December, 15.8% to ¥906 billion. Worst hit were cars, trucks, and parts (-47.5%), machinery (-22.2%), and electrical machinery, which includes tech products like semiconductors (-16.8%). Imports from China edged down by 2.1% to ¥1.24 trillion. And the trade deficit jumped by 76.8%.
Numbers coming in on Japan's Exports to the Eurozone are terrible too.
The report highlighted extremely worrying trends(as you rightly point out).
It very clearly showed that The Fortunes of The Personal Computer Industry and that of the Semiconductor Industry continue to be tied together(For Better or worse).
Which is to be expected-A PC needs way more components than a Smartphone.
One hope for the industry could be that the Smartphone Replacement cycle amongst Global Consumers is much-much faster than that of PCs.
Even here,News from T-Mobile in the US[Removal of all Phone subsidies on Cellphone Plans];means there is now more Pressure on Smartphone Manufacturers like Apple/Samsung/Nokia/Google/Microsoft/LG to dip into their cash horde to provide subsidies to consumers to purchase their handsets.
Will they bite the bullet?
I am not so sure.
The report had other worrying indicators HERE-
The uncomfortably high level of inventory among semiconductor manufacturers of nearly all stripes is a result of key demand drivers failing to materialize. Demand for semiconductor devices has typically come from new products that consumers feel compelled to purchase. But going into the holiday season last year, no such new products marshaled enough impetus to overcome consumer fears about lingering economic woes. Two months prior to Christmas, consumer purchases of electronics had grown by only 0.7 percent, the worst performance since 2008.
Worst Performance since 2008-Wow! That's really bad!!!
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