Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Tim Cook and Jim Cramer

For whatever misguided reason, Tim Cook seems to have locked onto Jim Cramer as his way to communicate with investors.  It is easy to imagine some clueless communications executive at Apple advising him to do so as a way to "open up" and differentiate himself from his predecessor.  This is such a major mistake.

Jim Cramer's influence, to the extent he has any, is with retail investors.  Mr. Cook, retail investors do not price your stock.  A set of major investors that are called by some "lead steers" drive the price of your stock.  To most of them, Cramer is an irrelevant blowhard. Cramer's focus is on increasing the audience of CNBC's business entertainment program, and thus his compensation, and in satisfying his massive ego.  Anyone who has watched him knows that he constantly changes his mind on stocks. He will aggressively pound the table on a stock one day only to change his mind, or be proved wrong, by the next week if not sooner.  Yet, Mr. Cook, you are regularly having interviews with him and even, at least once, answering his phone calls from his set on live CNBC.  Do you enjoy his obsequious questions?  Your fawning approach to Cramer is damaging your reputation and in consequence the view of your company.

Do you think that your predecessor would have ever paid such attention to any television pundit, much less an important analyst or investor.  No.  He saved his public exposure time for Apple announcements which were focused on products, but those presentations were also a chance for investors to size up Jobs and get an understanding of his thinking.  Cook, on other hand, has far too much availability as he opens himself up to the self absorbed Jim Cramer.

If there is a competent Investor Relations executive or consultant at Apple, they should know all of this.  Cook's pleasant soft Alabama drawl cannot overcome the damage that this is doing, and the fact that it is revealing how clueless he is about the investment community and how the market works.


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