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19Mar/12Off

Apple and their dividends

TechOps Guy: Nate

I watch quite a bit of CNBC despite never having invested a dime in the markets. I found this news of Apple doing a stock buyback and offering a dividend curious.

People have been clamoring for a dividend from Apple for a while now, wanting Apple to return some of that near $100B cash stock pile to investors.  I'm no fan of Apple(to put it mildly), never really have been, but for some reason I always thought Apple should NOT offer a dividend nor do a stock buyback.

The reason? Just look at the trajectory of the stock, investors are getting rewarded by a large amount already, from about $225 two years ago to near $600 now. Keep the cash, sooner or later their whole iOS ecosystem will start to fizzle and they will go on a decline again,  when that is I don't know but the cash could be used to sustain them for quite some time to come. As long as the stock keeps going up at a reasonable amount year over year (I hardly think what has happened to their stock is reasonable but that's why I'm not an investor), with some room for corrections here and there, keep the cash.

Same goes for stock buybacks, these seem to be tools for companies that really don't have any other way to boost their stock price, a sort of last resort, they are all out of ideas. Apple doesn't seem to be near that situation.

Even with the dividend I saw people complaining this morning that it was too low.

Apple could do something crazy with their cash stockpile too - perhaps buy HP (market cap of $48B). Or Dell ($30B market cap), if for nothing else then for diversification.  Not that I'd be happy with an Apple acquisition of HP.. Apple wouldn't have to do anything with the companies just let them run like they are now. For some reason I thought both HP and Dell's market caps were much higher(I suppose they were, just a matter of time frame).

What I think Apple should do with their stock? is a massive split (10:1 ?). Something apparently they are considering. Not for any other reason than to allow the little guy to get in on the action easier, having a $600/share price is kind of excessive, not Berkshire Hathaway excessive ($122k/share) but still excessive.

With the Nasdaq hitting new 10+ year highs in recent days/weeks, I would be curious to see the charts of such indexes that have Apple in them, how they would look without the ~50 fold increase in Apple's stock over the past 10 years). I seem to recall seeing/hearing that Dow won't put Apple in their DJI index because it would skew the numbers too much due to how massive it is. One article here says that if Apple had been put in the DJI in 2009 instead of Cisco the Dow would be past 15,000 now.

CNBC reported that Steve Jobs was against dividends.

Filed under: Random Thought 1 Comment
19Mar/12Off

10GbaseT making a comeback ?

TechOps Guy: Nate

Say it's true... I've been a fan of 10GbaseT for a while now. Though it hasn't really caught on in the industry, off the top of my head I can only think of Arista and Extreme who have embraced the standard from a switching perspective, with everyone else going with SFP+, or XFP or something else. Both Arista and Extreme obviously have SFP+ products as well, maybe XFP too, though I haven't looked into why someone would use XFP over SFP+ or vise versa.

From what I know, the biggest thing that has held back adoption of 10GbaseT has been power usage. Also I think other industry organizations had given up waiting for 10GbaseT to materialize. Also cost was somewhat of a factor too, I recall at least with Extreme their 24-port 10GbaseT switch was about $10k more than their SFP+ switch (without any SFP+ adapters or cables), so it was priced similarly to an optical switch that was fairly fully populated with modules, making entry level pricing if you only needed say 10 ports initially quite a bit higher.

But I have read two different things (and heard a third)  recently, which I'm sure are related which hopefully points to a turning point in 10GbaseT adoption.

The first was a banner on Arista's website.

The second  is this blog post talking about a new 10GbaseT chip from Intel.

Then the third thing I probably can't talk about, so I won't :)

I would love to have 10GbaseT over the passive copper cabling that most folks use now, that stuff is a pain to work with. While there are at least two switching companies that have 10GbaseT (I recall a Dell blade switch that had 10GbaseT support too), the number of NICs out there that support it is just about as sparse.

Not only that but I do like to color code my cables, and while CAT6 cables are obviously easy to get in many colors, it's less common and harder to get those passive 10GbE cables in multiple colors, seems most everyone just has black.

Also, cable lengths are quite a bit more precise with CAT6 than with passive copper. For example from Extreme at least (I know I could go 3rd party if I wanted), their short cables are 1 meter and 3 meters. There's a massive amount of distance between those two. CAT6 can be easily customized to any length and pre-made cables(I don't make my own), can be fairly easily found to be in 1 foot (or even half a foot) increments.

SFP Passive copper 10GbE cable

I wonder if there are (or will there be) 10GbaseT SFP+ GBICs (so existing switches could support 10GbaseT without wholesale replacement) ? I know there are 1GbE SFP+ GBICs.

 

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