Shares of Apple have been beaten up recently, technically the worst losing streak since 1998, but that’s not what I’d be worried about if I were a long-term shareholder. Losing streaks I can handle – it’s essentially losing a few coin tosses in a row. No, what I find concerning is Tim Cook’s focus. As CEO, he sets the tone for what kind of shareholder base Apple will have.
Last night, Cook either flew across the country to New Jersey from Cupertino, CA, or he dedicated a large chunk of his day on the East Coast, to give “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer a lengthy, sit-down interview on the topic of Apple, and more specifically: AAPL. Now, normally this shouldn’t ring any alarm bells, but timing is everything. “Mad Money” is a show mostly dedicated to trading, and CNBC is a network wholly dedicated to market short-termism. So, effectively, we have the CEO of the largest company in the world trying to calm the fears of people who likely couldn’t care less about where the stock or the company are in ten years. That’s not good.
Cook’s time is a finite resource and it’s unfortunate he thought this would be a good use of it. If the company really is facing some major headwinds, is a Cramer interview really in Apple’s best long-term interest? I seriously doubt it. What if Cook kept his head down and spent this time righting the ship? Then again, this is a CEO who gave in to Carl Icahn’s demand for short-term focus.
We simply have another example of the emotional side of investing wreaking havoc on what should be a simple deal: do the right things and over the long-term the stock will do the talking. The rest is just noise. Sort of like this noise about Icahn selling his entire stake already, after extracting his pound of flesh from Tim Cook.
My advice to Tim, or any other investor feeling bad about a losing streak? Listen to my favorite Tame Impala song and repeat its mantra: “Gotta be above it, gotta be above it, gotta be above it…”