Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Viv's gPhone Prediction

Viv was already in my office this morning, bursting at the seams.

"Gene, Gene, did I tell you I'm working a two-book contract?"

"No kidding! That's great Viv."

"Indeed," she nods, "cross genre is all the rage. B&N will be installing a new Business-Horror section just for Zuned: Another Scary Microsoft Hardware Blunder."

"Cross genre?"

"It's when you combine two types of books that don't normally fit together, like a mystery-slash-cookbook. Or science fiction time travel and romance, you know, like that Lake House movie, where Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are stuck in a time warp but they fall in love and have to get together, and of course if features the requisite two obstacles to consummate the relationship. It's great stuff Gene."

"I can't say as I've seen it Viv."

She pushes her glasses up her nose. "No matter. There's a big market for cross genre books. Don't you want to hear about my second book?" Viv blushes.

"Oh yeah, sure. What is it?"

"Googled: How they missed the G-spot. I'm pioneering B&N's exclusive new Business-Erotica genre. Of course it's mostly about the gPhone, but, you know, spiced up."

"Viv I don't think they've released a phone yet. And we cover Google, so your book presents an ethical problem. How does it look if a crack Piper analyst, part of Team Munster no less, is publishing a title on Google for the Business slash, uh, Etcetera shelf?"

"Gene I can handle it. Besides everyone knows the gPhone is gonna be a dog. FSJ says they'll just throw their maps software onto a second-rate, third party-designed piece of hardware."

"True enough, plus a ton of ads. Who's FSJ anyways?"

"He's like you. He blogs in the Business/Angst category. But you've got more dark humor, you know, you're the innocent Hitchcockian guy making his way amidst the Wall Street opium dens."


Viv picks a piece of lint off her sweater. "It's very subtle. Think Cary Grant in North by Northwest."

"Right Viv."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Um, if we don't need it, does it matter if you destroy it?

"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business - in terms of pricing -- and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side," Zucker maintained.

OK, so with iTunes:


What was your point again Zucker?

Unmasked: Apple shareholders are getting all the good candy this year

And Team Munster asked me (again) to direct your drops to them here at Piper.

FYI -- their favorites are:

Paul - peanut butter cups, Snickers, Tootsie rolls
Viv - Twix bars, M&Ms, Butterfingers
Judy - Almond Joy (dark), Junior mints, Nestle crunch bars
Andrew - Anything chocolate (but as the new guy he gets the leftovers)

As you've all made more than "fun size" gains, please send that stuff (and the stale popcorn balls) to the, uh, other analysts.

Thanks from Team Munster.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If Jeff Zucker Ruled The World

  1. Car Manufacturers would give a percentage of their revenues to Exxon and BP Amoco
  2. Barbers would send checks to the makers of Propecia and Retin-A
  3. Belt makers would owe money to Levi Strauss
  4. Lunch box companies would yield payments to Oscar Mayer
  5. Back pack manufacturers would share revenues with Barnes and Noble
  6. Dentists would make payments to Jolly Ranchers

Munster Halloween Tips

I'm getting a raft of requests from young Munster Nation investors. They're asking how to craft the perfect Munster costume.

Kids, it's all about the tie. Ditch the Hogwarts line -- the stripes are all wrong, they look like preppie candy canes -- and go with Armani. And practice your knots.

At the door don't forget to negotiate monthly "candy payments" over the next 2 years, or alternatively, request twice the amount of candy in an unlocked agreement.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Paparazzi Distractor Task Force (PDTF) Update

While the Munster Nation paparazzi were engaged with Hannah Montana last weekend I had free run of the town. Usually I have to hide behind local celebs like Kent Hrbek, Al Franken, and even that aging rocker that Cate Blanchett plays.

Jeez, for a guy who doesn't have a Wikipedia page I'm getting lots of attention.

Hey, and the blog is doing pretty well! I hope the boss isn't too upset that it's outranking the Piper website!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Leopard Weekend Channel Checking

So last night I installed Leopard on my iMac at home. As they say at Staples that was easy.

The main reason I wanted to have Leopard running today was so I could use iChat Theater for the weekend channel checking with Team Munster. I've got an image of the Piper office behind me now when I'm at home. And of course I've got the knockout tie on (with the boxers that no one can see below the desk). Man I love working from home, and iChat Theater makes it all the easier.

Anyway turns out that I didn't even get to fire up iChat cause the team could not get near a dang computer at any of the Minnesota Apple Stores! They were packed to the gills! Viv tried to get a little kid to give up an iMac at one point, but he kicked her right in the shins!

In any case, things are looking.... well, huge for Leopard, and therefore, ├╝ber-huge for Munster Nation.

P.S. Dear Shaw, time for a new target, and quick.

You're Welcome

 Team Munster has cracked the code. OK, I was off a bit on my previous estimates of AT&T payments. But Paul tinkered with the Munster secret decoder rings, and now we've smacked it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reitzes, I'm Warning You

Can you believe this poser? I've blogged about this before, but seriously I'm getting ready to kick this kid's butt.

We continue to believe Apple is in the process of creating another version of the 'multiplier effect,' which we call 'Halo 2'. Apple’s fiscal 4Q results show that the build up to the launch of the iPhone and its ongoing excitement is driving sales of accessories, boosting retail traffic, and helping drive sales of iPods and especially Macs. As a result, we believe shares can continue to move higher into Macworld [Expo] in January.

Last warning Benny. Get your own catch phrases or things are going to get real ugly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Munster Endowment Takes Shape

See here.

You all know I'm a Tommie. Well, Lee and Penny Anderson were so pleased with Apple's recent results they felt compelled to make $60 million gift (the largest single gift to higher education in state history) to University of St. Thomas.

Uff Da. You bet. I'm overwhelmed.

Thanks a thousand hockey sticks Mr. and Mrs. Anderson -- a heap of gratitude flows from all Minnesotans.

Share the love and wealth Munster Nation. That's the Piper way.

Over the Top

Just like Texas Hold 'Em. A huge re-raise that makes your opponent go "uh-oh."

Told you.... have a little patience my friends. I've got a great hand, and no one has my tell.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Double Slot Cramer: Worse than a root canal procedure without novocaine

Apparently he's over the burnt toast fiasco because now he's telling Cramerica to sell their Apple stock again.

The good news is I have an iPhone. With the Visual Voicemail feature -- an iPhone exclusive -- I don't ever have to listen to Double Slot again.

Munster Nation, follow me and ignore the toaster man.

Oh, and speaking of toasters -- thanks to Melissa for the combination toaster oven/blender/pasta maker -- another nice convergent device.

Keep those gifts coming Munster Nation.

Sorry David, you let the genie out of the bottle.

Are you kidding me? When the iPhone was released David staged a Broadway production number to rival A Chorus Line. And tonight he releases this?

Sorry David, that just will not do. I'll give you until Friday to get the edits done, and it had better be hotter than hot big boy.

My New Catch Phrase

So, when you think iPod, you think "Halo Effect."

When you think iPhone, you think "Game Changer."

The Munster Investor Catch Phrases are becoming legendary here at Piper. Anyway I thought I might as well get one on each leg of the Apple stool. See here.

That's right friends, the The Mac is Going Mainstream

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An avalanche of upgrades

and Viv is going nuts trying to clip all the articles quoting me to add to my scrapbook. Look at the pull out quote on this one. And Franken says we need the SNL writers. Pffft.

And for those of you who think my $222 target is too low, how about a little trust and gratitude peeps?

Jeez I feel like Moses sometimes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

After the Bell: Domestic Squabble at the Berenstains

So the new Bernstein target ($175) reached it's expiration date faster than the milk in my refrigerator.

And rumor has it three key clients are defecting to Piper.

Even worse, Mama is threatening to move out and serve papers on Papa Sanford.

It's getting downright fugly at the Bernstein treehouse, and seriously, Sanford -- you need to stop arguing in the garage, or close the door, or something. It's like a megaphone -- the whole neighborhood can hear you.

How'd I do?

Munster Nation knows that my whisper number was a buck-o-fiver. Not bad eh?

CC went OK. Notice how I just kept asking questions until she cut me off? I figure "hey I'm the the guy that paves the way for you guys so I'm just gonna keep firing."

Didn't get squat from Peter on the revenue sharing. Bastards are cloaking it with accessory revenue. At least I got a little color on the Best Buy numbers.

Guidance for next quarter? What guidance? It's still lowballing. Now think about that.

Rejoice, Munster Nation.

P.S. How ya doin' there Shaw Wu?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

iPhone Becomes AT&T Top Seller, leads in customer satisfaction plus Apple market value soars past Dells and Apple to open 200th store . . .

and Apple workers get shuttle service, car wash, and 3 extra paid vacation days over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kudos have been sent to Apple, and an anonymous suggestion made to Piper management to upgrade the benefits of any Senior Analysts who have been dead-on about aapl since coverage was initiated.

Off for some tie shopping....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Palm is beleaguered, Vista is a flop, Nokia is downgraded, Dell tries to staunch market share bleeding

and Dumbledore is no longer an option for Viv.

Condolence notes have been sent to Palm, Vista, Nokia, Dell, and Viv (the Dumbledore thing -- she's devastated).

Have a good weekend Munster Nation. Monday, we rock and roll.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Everyone thinks they can be an Apple analyst

Look at this wreck, written by a Team Munster-wannabe.

So novice Cullen (a college sophomore) ran out of runway on takeoff and augered in.

Cullen, at this rate you'll never win a coveted position as one of my Piper Cubs.

Anyway, I'm sending this over to Andrew for analysis -- just another "new-on-the-team" test. If he doesn't use the n00b stamp on you he's fired, plain and simple.

Hey n00bs: Time to sell or what?

AAPL is passing the n00b analyst targets quicker than an 8-core Mac Pro.

So, does that mean it's time to sell?

Had you n00bs made reasonable targets when I stepped up to the plate and crossed two hundo you wouldn't be in this situation. I hope your clients aren't too upset with you cause their GTC sells kicked in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

PJ Vlog-o-the-day

This is how we know what we know. Teens are ditching the clothes and saving up for iPods and iPhones. Thanks Jeff. Nice tie (thought the jacket fit is not-so-hot).

The Berenstains prepare their twinkie defense..

to include in their next blackbook report to clients.

In last week's installment, the Bernstein Bears raised their target on Apple stock to a whopping $175.

Upon hearing the news Uncle Bear sold his shares.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Mama Bear is furious about the 'paw in the honey jar' rumors, and when last seen she was de-installing the candy and pop machines at the community tree house.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nokia Strikes Out, Motorola On Deck

Look here. 

While Nokia was fretting over missing out on the foldout "clamshell" design back in 2005 (Motorola beat them to it) Apple engineers were already busy designing the Triple Lindy of smart phones.

Nokia and Motorola were looking only for fast balls, and they missed the slow curve. Zander better start cranking out a LOT more digital set top boxes to the cable industry, cause otherwise that nineteen dollars a share is looking mighty rich to this Senior Analyst.

Hellooooo Moto?

Fake Vlogging?

Paul is on my case about vlogging. Blogging is so 2005, he insists. Visual stimulation is where it's at, he says.

Me? Visually stimulating?

Well no, Paul chokes out, it's the pie charts and graphs that'll knock 'em dead.

So he shows me a couple of poser analysts droning on youtube, and fer sure, they are lacking Munster-type charisma. And then he shows me what that guy Pogue is doing at New York Times. Great stuff. But they're a media outlet I say. They've got an on-site $6 million post production studio. Besides, Pogue has real writers.

Well we've got Viv, says Paul.

OK Paul, but my ties are light-years better, and you know I'm NOT dumbing down on the ties (a senior analyst has to draw the line somewhere).

I mention we'd have to get the idea cleared through the higher ups. That'll take five years. Paul retorts that since Andrew is handling the paparazzi he can do battle with Mr. Piper and Mr. Jaffray. Not a problem, he says.

I just don't have time for it, I argue.

But Paul has covered that base too. "Gene, you can fake vlog during your daily fake commute, you know, while doing your fake driving."

He gave me this "how to" video on it. I have to admit one thing -- it does make good use of the neighborhood kids.

They're Still Following the Piper.

Lehman raised their target on Apple to $190 today. As usual they waited until the previous roadkill target ($160) had been driven over 10,000 times, just to make sure it was really dead.

Good job Mr. Blount. You win the "Zune of Analysts" award.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Getting my questions ready

for the conference call. The fine citizens of Munster Nation surely recall that Peter shut me down last time, but we made nice afterwards and he assured me that this time around he'll give me my due.

Viv wants me to make some reference to the Zune 2, but I'd be wasting my time with that, so I told her no (much to her dismay, let me tell you). Nope, I'll be focusing on iPhone, and maybe even that Apple TV... the sleeping giant of the Apple arsenal.

And the eps? Look for a buck-0-fiver.

Friday, October 12, 2007

GS does not mean "Geologically Stable"

Funny how the Goldman Sachs target upgrade on Apple triggered a 5.2 on the richter scale yesterday afternoon.

But don't worry folks. Count on Team Munster, located here in the tectonically boring midwest. No sudden eruptions, no plate shifts, and no hurricanes. Just the occasional tyrant tornado.

And now you have the answer to Cramer's perennial question ("Geno, what's a great analyst like you doing in Minneapolis?").

In fifty years, when New York, London, San Francisco and the rest go the way of Atlantis (no, this isn't a signal to short the market) I'll be at the world's financial center.

Don't believe me? Ask Al Gore.

You betcha, fixing our roads and bridges is just the beginning.

Goldman Sachs is so yesterday. Piper is skating to where the broomball is going to be!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In case you weren't sure...

ANYONE can run for President.

So I get an email from Al Franken, the comedian running for Senate. He says he's got this idea, about a Franken-Munster ticket. Never mind that US Senators don't have running mates he says. He needs to be ready when Hillary gets the boot. He says he got this great idea while reading my blog, and anyway, he thinks the content is good but the writing sucks, and maybe he could send the SNL writers over and what do I think about that?

With me on his ticket, he says, his research team is sure he can win Dawson, Moose Lake, Eveleth, New Prague AND Wayzata. Then it's on to Pennsylvania Ave. post-Hillary.

"Gene, picture it: The Franken-Munster Decade!"

Now this beats all. Everybody wants to ride the Team Munster train to fame.

I rewrote Judy's job description, and over her protests she's been assigned to respond to these Munster celeb inquiries. Fortunately Andrew volunteered to lead the Paparazzi Distractor Task Force (PDTF), but only after I mentioned an alternate assignment covering Microsoft.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Berenstains Raise Their Target

Hey investors, papa bear says this new $175 target should be good for the day. 

Sister Bear's happy because AAPL is still rated at 'market perform'.

Don't worry kids. Sanford Bernstein is still offering free coloring
books to new clients. And don't forget to check out the interactive
fantasy storybook and virtual maze on their website.

Thanks again for the gifts and cards

AAPL was up another $7 plus last week, and I just wanted to thank Kyle for sending another Team Munster cap.

We've received many Munster caps, and I've been seeing them all around town lately.

Anyway, just wanted to express my gratitude for your loyalty to to Team M here at PJ.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yared breaks the unwritten law

regarding Piper maintaining the highest target on AAPL.

Judy and Viv flew into my office with Georges Yared's Hail Mary half-attempt to pass us up this morning:

"The stock has been acting superbly these past two months and after the earnings conference call look for many analysts to move their price targets to $200 and higher. My price target is $200 and I am prepared to move it to $225."

My target is $211; Yared's dancing on very thin ice here. Plus his research basically sucks. But anyway...

So Judy says "heck, $225 ain't dramastically higher than our target" ( upon hearing 'ain't dramastically' Viv winces in pain).

"It's just nutsy cuckoo to flip out over this third rate guy," she adds (at this Viv groans and mutters something about 'nutsy' and adjective formation rules).

"I'm already over it," I say.

But the women, for some reason, aren't.

So Viv adds that we need to cut the guy some slack. "After all," she tosses out, "he has to overcome that unfortunate name . . . how many struggle with the 'initial Y' handicap in America?"

Judy rolls her eyes at that, but folks, it's true. Rumor has it Yared almost got tagged as special ed back in grade school. They hadn't met their quota and panicked when they got down to the Y's. He had to recite the Gettysburg address five times to dodge that fate. It left a mark on the guy.

Viv continues. "Golly, and anyway, who has a plural first name? He's not putting anything past anyone. One analyst, one brain. That's how it works Mr. George with an "s"!

By this time Judy has broken two pencils in her bare hands. "That's nutsy cuckoo Viv," she says, "I think he's Greek."

Viv glares back at her.

"It's ok," I say. "Really. Yared has broken free. I can't call these chumps "n00bs" and then not give them props when they step up to the plate and offer a real target like we do. And you know, they name children just like that up in Anoka."

Viv and Judy immediately snap to attention. "Yah?" queries Viv.

"It's a scary place . . . you know, the Halloween Capitol of the World and all that."

They laugh and head for the door.

Keeping the peace on Team Munster is all part of a day's work. It takes wit and humor and courage. And it helps to be a graduate of the Piper Samarai Team Building program.

Note to George with an 's' Yared: That tie passes "Munster muster" but here's a free tip: You can use Photoshop to eliminate the unsightly piece growing out below your wrist (cross platform but of course I recommend OS X). Viv blushed profusely and mentioned how it draws the eyes downward . . . and I didn't want to ask her anything more about THAT.

Then end is near

Doug Kass:

To sum it up: iPhone is a game changer, and I finally get what Apple bulls have been on to for awhile. That said, with the shares up dramatically both absolutely and relatively, I am late to the party for Apple as a short-term consideration.

1. Game Changer is my catch phrase

2. Run for the hills, Doug Kass is positive on aapl

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Team Munster Divides and Conquers

Once a month Team Munster does a "Channel Blitz" in Minnesota. There are four Apple Stores here so Viv, Andrew, Judy and I would usually each drive out to one. But now that we have Andrew I'm able to run operations from home. That way I can use my 24" iMac and have the team log in with iChat for live shots. Naturally I wear a tie in case anyone at the stores should see me, but below the waist I'm in my boxers. Being a Senior Research Analyst has its advantages.

For the most part things went smoothly, though Paul caught a little heat from security as he was spinning the 17" Macbook Pro around so I could see the whole store at the Mall of America. And the reports were astounding. The team found that all of the stores were at capacity for most of the day, and products are flying off shelves into those cool Apple drawstring bags and out the door like it's December.

Which brings up an interesting situation: What is Apple going to do about traffic during the
 holidays? Judy thinks people are going to have to make appointments to shop at the Apple Store, sort of like making an appointment at the genius bar. Andrew took it a step further and suggested that Pro Care may be upgraded to included guaranteed shopping times. I like his style.

Whatever they do, they're going to have to do something, because I think the fire marshals are going to get involved in a big way, I kid you not.

At times I get tired of being Captain Obvious

The music record business is dead. Yes dead. But I had to tell it to those guys at Minneapolis Star Tribune (AGAIN).

Yah, this is ancient news at Piper, because unlike other n00b analyst firms, we actually do research. You know, like retail checks and focus groups and such.

So what do teens buy? NOT their music. Vivian and Judy did this research OVER a year ago:

Apparently this is big news to the Strib chumps. Hey guys, how's that downsizing going over there? And no, we don't have a job for Par Ridder.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What the heck is a Tommo?

Faithful reader Bubbler pointed out this post by some guy named Tommo_UK. 

I don't know what a "Tommo" is, but this guy is smart and has moxie. The n00b analysts don't have reports that are nearly as insightful.

I told Andrew to start researching this guy. We might need to make an overseas addition to Team Munster.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chapter Seventeen

Viv rushed into my office today.

"Gene! Microsoft released a new and improved Zune!"

"No kidding."

She nodded smugly. "Another chapter! Just when I was ready to submit the book."

Reader, you might recall that Viv's writing a genre-bending tome called Zuned: Another Microsoft Software Blunder.

"That's a problem Viv?"

"Not really." She shrugged. "I have to add Chapter Seventeen: Zuned Again. It will add 1,236 words."

"Uh huh." 

I expect Viv, brilliant analyst that she is, will be sucked into an endless loop for the rest of the week.

"Gene, anything you need to know about the new Zune, well gosh, I'm your woman!"

"That's a comfort to know Viv."

The Double Slot Pops Up with Burnt Toast

He called me on the Piper phone.

"Geno, pal, you've got to help me."

"Uh, what's up JC?"

"They're sending me burnt toast! Thousands of slices of burnt toast!"


"Yeah, Yeah. So I laid a worm on the Apple. And, can you believe it -- the lemmings sold! Then the stock went UP! All last week! The carnage! The train wrecks! You have NO IDEA! "

*cough* "Geez Jim, I can't imagine why Apple stock would go up!" (chump!)

"You have 



about the pain I'm suffering!"

"Guess not." (n00b)

"Gene, this toast thing is completely your fault! Double Slot? Double Slot? You have NO IDEA! You owe me!"


"Listen Geno, I know what you gotta do to get eyeballs. Do I ever know! But you can redeem yourself. I've got an idea."

"Redeem MY self?."

"Yeah Gene. The Apple fan club wants a rebate for the money they've lost. Can you believe it? What is it with those guys? So I noticed you're getting loads of gifts, like bowling shirts you probably can't use, duplicates even. Gene, back up the truck, you know, ship those out to me to use as rebates. You know, sort of a 'Cramer gift back' program."

"Oh. Uh, Paul took the extra bowling shirt. I can't take back Vivan's Parker pen set. And Andrew got the fruit cake."

"So what are saying? You got nothin' for Jimbo?"

"I'm saying you should make the right call on the stock next time . . . "


Monday, October 1, 2007

Raising by a Hamilton?

Seyrafi, you call raising your (shamefully low) $165 estimate by ten bucks an upgrade? Seriously? Aapl's going to be at $165 by earnings at this rate, and to your new target shortly thereafter.

At least Whitmore got in the same ballpark with me at $200. About freakin' time I get some company there.

What the heck are these n00bs doing every day? I went over $200 months ago. Did I falter when aapl went down to $130? Did I waver when it went to $111? Did I tell you corn was on sale?

The rest of these guys are chumps, pure and simple. Stick with the SENIOR Research Analyst at the one and only Piper J.