Ford 2009 = Apple 1999?

  • Posted: 05 November 2009 01:57 PM

    I hope this isn’t considered off topic.

    I have been investing in Apple since 1999.  Back then, my Apple fanboyism led me to recognize that Jobs’ turn around of Apple was going to work.  That insight has made me a nice bit of change.  Ever since then, I have been looking for companies in similar circumstances; a beat down company that still had a good brand, loyal fans and were making the changes necessary to turn things around.

    For a while now, I have been looking at Ford.  I like the changes in their product line and I think they are capable of build excitement among car buyers.  I know the comparison isn’t perfect.  Ford has enormous debt and Apple in 1999 didn’t have much debt, something like 200-400 million to 4 billion in cash.

    I am just curious.  Have any of you long time Apple investors been thinking the same thing? 

    Given how cheap F is right now, I am tempted to make a speculative, high-risk investment.

         
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 02:10 PM #1

    CrazyHarry - 05 November 2009 05:57 PM

    I hope this isn’t considered off topic.

    I have been investing in Apple since 1999.  Back then, my Apple fanboyism led me to recognize that Jobs’ turn around of Apple was going to work.  That insight has made me a nice bit of change.  Ever since then, I have been looking for companies in similar circumstances; a beat down company that still had a good brand, loyal fans and were making the changes necessary to turn things around.

    For a while now, I have been looking at Ford.  I like the changes in their product line and I think they are capable of build excitement among car buyers.  I know the comparison isn’t perfect.  Ford has enormous debt and Apple in 1999 didn’t have much debt, something like 200-400 million to 4 billion in cash.

    I am just curious.  Have any of you long time Apple investors been thinking the same thing? 

    Given how cheap F is right now, I am tempted to make a speculative, high-risk investment.

    Ford is saddled by a union that is insane. On the other hand, in all likely hood, the next round of vehicles in the Swiss Family Landstrom will be more Fords since they have a dealership in the small town we’re planning on moving to.

    Good source for all things cars is the truth about cars blog.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/

    [ Edited: 05 November 2009 02:13 PM by Eric Landstrom ]

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    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 02:54 PM #2

    CrazyHarry,

    Thank you for raising this topic.  I’m of similar thinking after tasting 30x return in less than 10 years.  There should be many such stocks now.  Any other stocks in your radar?


    Eric,

    Thank you for the feedback.  Reckon, Ford is no-no.


    Other AFBers,

    Any other stocks similar to Apple in 1999?  Having high options transactional volume is preferred.  Purchasing LEAPS would return a lot more than common stocks ... thinking of 100x to 1000x within 10 years :drool:.

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    Posted: 05 November 2009 03:01 PM #3

    Mace, I still own some F but nothing like I did when it blew over $8.00 a share.

    On the other hand: I’m on the find the crappy company that everybody thinks is going BK but I don’t game plan.

    Ford is a good company making good stuff that now rivals Honda and Toyota in quality and who has always made really good trucks. Ford didn’t take bailout bucks and they’ve a great CEO who knows how to turn a company around. Ford is a good story and that is why I still own some F.

    However, the downside is that Ford is heavily in debt and the American union is crazy. If Ford goes onto further success it’ll be despite its union and debt, IMO.

    Signature

    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
  • Posted: 05 November 2009 03:58 PM #4

    Eric Landstrom - 05 November 2009 06:10 PM

    Good source for all things cars is the truth about cars blog.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/

    TTAC is ok, but it’s too negative.  Farago would just as soon have the domestics burn.  Here’s my favorite homepage for all things automotive:

     

    HERE

         
  • Posted: 05 November 2009 04:01 PM #5

    Eric Landstrom - 05 November 2009 07:01 PM

    However, the downside is that Ford is heavily in debt and the American union is crazy. If Ford goes onto further success it’ll be despite its union and debt, IMO.

    I agree completely.  But don’t underestimate the union to wreck things.  Mulally is the real deal.  I don’t know about his design sensibilities, but watch for him to reduce car weight and push for alternative power plants.  But there’s too much good competition for F to be the next Apple.  I wouldn’t get too optimistic, unless you’re making comparisons between F and the other two domestics.

    [ Edited: 05 November 2009 04:04 PM by ByeTMO ]      
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 04:25 PM #6

    Mercel - 05 November 2009 07:58 PM
    Eric Landstrom - 05 November 2009 06:10 PM

    Good source for all things cars is the truth about cars blog.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/

    TTAC is ok, but it’s too negative.  Farago would just as soon have the domestics burn.  Here’s my favorite homepage for all things automotive:

     

    HERE

    In my book, I want to hear all kinds of perspectives?negative points of view included.

    Signature

    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.

         
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 04:51 PM #7

    I think F is ok, but I believe the major upside is gone.  I thought about it when it was at $2, finally pulled the trigger at $7.5.  I think it will go to around 10 in a year or so and I will get out then.

    I don’t believe it will go up the same way Apple did.

    I am still looking for other plays like that.

         
  • Posted: 05 November 2009 06:14 PM #8

    FWIW your crystal ball in 1999 would have to have been finely tuned to have seen the the fortunes of AAPL 10 years out. Same applies today. Who can redefine their market?

         
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 09:31 PM #9

    I think that much of the good press and affection that Ford has gotten lately is because they did not need to take a federal investment, and the right-wing, especially, loves them for this fact alone.  I view Ford as aesthetically design-challenged and in that respect completely unlike Apple?not that humdrum design makes much difference to the American consumer, who also seem to love Toyota despite a lack of beautiful design ability.  The consistently best visual design is done by Nissan, with beautiful and innovative design also done by GM and BMW, both of whom regularly turn out clean and attractive designs. 

    The challenges in the car market are so immense that I don’t think financial success is predictable.  The overcapacity problem is being solved by the marketplace and by the catastrophic economic failures of the Bush administration, but the fuel sources of the future are still a huge question, and corporations need to have a lot of simultaneous strategies to deal with those possibilities.  It is too early to say whether electric, hydrogen, or gas cars will win out.  So I wouldn’t bet the farm on Ford.

         
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    Posted: 05 November 2009 09:38 PM #10

    Apple and its stock have not yet finished growing. “This old horse still has a lot of life left in her.” There is still a lot of upside left.

    Looking for a great company to invest in, try AAPL.  grin

     

    :apple:

         
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    Posted: 22 November 2009 02:51 AM #11

    Anyone following AKAM?

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  • Posted: 22 November 2009 02:57 AM #12

    I was not as brave as some and sold mine in the low sixes.

    I love my F350 Super Duty.  The company might very well be successful and for a long time to come.  But it is run for the benefit of its employees.  So my advice is it is OK to get a job there, but don’t put much (or any) long term money in the stock.

         
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    Posted: 22 November 2009 03:59 AM #13

    George Soros owns F.

    Why do George Soros and Warren Buffett buy XOM and WMT?

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  • Posted: 22 November 2009 08:33 AM #14

    Good weekend topic… I have been thinking for a while about the next ‘‘big’’ undiscovered stock mover. Apple still has upside for a couple of years (for option players) but thinking ahead I would not   buy F because of unions. The Indians and Chinese will be big in the automotive market IMO and I want to buy US or Canadian companies that have little or no Labour component unless it is tech or science/medicine. One stock that is really ugly these days in Electronic Arts (ERTS)
    The employees options are almost all underwater and management has just revised them all with a conversion to common stock with a slight discount to market price on 1 year restricted basis. A very crappy deal. Senior management has been in place for 3-4 years so I have no faith in them. But the industry? WoW. If we get the blockbuster iTablet all the gamemaker boats should rise significantly ...Stock is cheap at $17 that was trading in the $60’s…. Bring back Trip Hawkins to run it and I am in…

         
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    Posted: 22 November 2009 10:09 AM #15

    firestorm - 06 November 2009 01:31 AM

    The consistently best visual design is done by Nissan

    What?  :bugeyed:

    That is absolutely not true.