09/6/19

Apple Bonds — Making Applesauce

Beautiful day in the lovely city of Atlanta enroute back to Savannah from whence I fled Dorian the Hurricane Monster. It was a pleasant diversion with one of the highlights being the Georgia Aquarium, a recommendation from a pal/reader. Great recommendation.

So, Apple has just sold some corporate bonds. Corporate bond yields are trending down with the general flight from equities into bonds. But, Apple doesn’t pay general corporate bond yield prices — about 6% for others.

No, sir.

Apple placed $7B of 3 to 30 year maturities at very tight spreads above Treasuries. They had intended to place $3-4B, but the book grew so quickly (more than $25B in offers to buy Apple bonds), they went with the bigger number.

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08/30/19

Threesomes With Siri

If you own an Apple phone and use Siri — face it, who doesn’t — you may not realize that when you found yourself in an “intimate” moment, you may really have been enjoying a threesome with Siri.

Apple had a program wherein they captured “inadvertent” conversations including you doing the wild thing [or discussing that rash, or doing a drug deal, or plotting a watermelon theft] with your beloved and allowed contractors to evaluate them to see how this problem happened.

“Babe, who is that?” asks the beloved just as you unleash your secret, death defying, all satisfying power move.

“Oh, that’s Tim Cook’s pal, Siri.”

“Babe, that’s creepy.”

“Shh, now where were we, beloved? Oh, yes, my power move. Come here, dumpling.”

Of course, they forgot to tell you that you and the dumpling were providing “content” for the contractors.

Yes, this really happened.

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07/22/19

Beating the Apple Tax

The Apple Store (since 2008) and the Google Play Store (a few months later) exact a thirty percent tax on all transactions. That’s 30%! This is called the Apple Tax.

Image result for logo apple store

Folks who sell through the Apple and Google Play stores believe that is an obscenely high fee. Color your Big Red Car amongst those who hold that opinion. [Note: In this blog post, I will consider the interests and behavior of Apple/Google as one and the same for simplicity.]

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12/13/18

Apple — Deep in the Heart of Austin By God Texas

Big Red Car feeling cheeky with announcement that Apple has decided to go long on Austin By God Texas by building a new corporate campus to cost more than $1,000,000,000 and create more than 15,000 jobs.

Of course, they did this in the shadow of the Amazon pig fest. Bravo, Apple.

Apple, which has been in Austin for more than a quarter of a century, and Austin have had a “starter” relationship with their first campus which employs 6,200 Austinites. This was already their largest operation outside Cupertino (a fact I am quite skeptical about).

The campus will be built on a 133 acre site, employing 5,000 out of the chute followed by 10,000 more making Apple Austin’s largest private employer.  All power will be “renewable.” You knew that would be the way they rolled, right?

Functionally, the Austin campus will focus on research and development, finance, sales, and customer service. They also make the MacBook Air in Austin.

Image result for images texas capitol

Apple had announced a plan to build $30,000,000,000 of new facilities and to create 20,000 US jobs by 2023, so the Austin project is a huge part of their national efforts.

Much of this new US development was driven by recent US Tax Code changes which made it more difficult for companies like Apple to hide profits overseas thereby bringing business back to the US. [This is how those jobs are going to come home, y’all.]

Apple employs 90,000 workers in the US and is beginning to make more of its products in the US and stationing headquarters elements here also. The company added 6,000 jobs in the US in 2018.

Welcome, again, Apple, and let’s get to work.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself. Merry Christmas.

08/21/18

The Wizard of Omaha and Tech

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Texas day, y’all. Hope it is going well for you and yours.

I always like to take a peek at what Warren Buffet owns as it relates to stocks. It is often an eye opener. It is often pretty damn plain vanilla and boring, but something caught my eye.

Buffett famously has eschewed investing in technology suggesting that there is a limited longevity and defensibility of the competitive advantage for tech based companies and that it is very difficult to identify the big winners at a time when their stock price is reasonable. This was his view back in 1999 when Forbes interviewed him for an excellent article. Take a second and consider that statement. This from a guy who has to deploy $200B in stocks.

Image result for images warren buffett

“My name is Warren Buffett. I’m 84 and I’ve been at this investing business for a long time. Don’t be blowing smoke up my ass about bitcoin and cryptocurrency. I was in business when the US was on the God damn gold standard.”

He and noted venture capitalist Marc Andreesson had a pithy exchange about the future of bitcoin. When Buffett called it a “mirage” Andreeson countered that Buffett “…was just an old white guy crapping on a technology he didn’t understand.” [I see no reason why Buffett’s ethnicity was germane to the discussion, do you?]

Buffet has long been quoted as saying, “All you people piling into dot-com stocks must be much smarter than I am, because I just don’t get it.”

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04/30/18

Clean Energy – Apple, Google

Clean energy is hard to be against unless its cost is an issue.

The Big Red Car is here for y’all on a cloudy day in the ATX. Talking clean energy.

Clean energy is a big umbrella which covers solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy, and nuclear. Hello, America, NUCLEAR?

OK, so maybe the DOE definition of clean energy took it one step too far, but that’s what they say.

Apple (2018) and Google (2017) have announced that 100% of their energy needs worldwide are being supplied by clean energy. They also pull the definition a bit further by adding “renewable” to their definition.

Anybody surprised these two companies are leading the way on this?

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