Financial Mathematics Text

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Einhorn and AAPL's preferred shares

So there's a lot of fuss regarding David Einhorn's proposal that Apple (AAPL) issue preferred shares in order to "unlock value".  To be clear, I like Einhorn and even liked his book, Fooling Some of the People All of the Time (in spite of the fact that it was excruciatingly detailed oriented).

But I concur with Prof Damodaran that this doesn't really create value; it simply changes capital structure. Granted, as Damodaran points out this might unlock price (I suspect it would since the market sometimes overprices leveraged situations. The fact that many analyses of Einhorn's strategy assumes that PE ratios will stay the same in spite of the leverage is evidence of this fact. They make the mistake that one wouldn't make if one understood the ideas in this post.)

But it does enhance value in at least one sense. Cash distributed now is worth more than cash sitting in an account earning next to nothing in interest. 

But I'm more interested in this question: is 4% the correct price for the preferred shares?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Understanding Enterprise Value

There's a procedure used when evaluating stocks of subtracting cash or subtracting "net cash". I don't think it's well understood so I'll give a brief presentation here.

The procedure is actually based upon two observations: