Vieira on a rare interview comments Apple, Intuitive Surgical, Priceline and Salesforce April 17th, 2012
Vieira comments on Apple (AAPL) ahead of earnings and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), his Gem. He also responds to questions involving some of the best trade calls in the world Salesforce, Google, Priceline, the company Beyond Trading and the stock market in general. Here's a transcript based on today's channel interview:
Firstly, congratulations for your very recent trade calls in Apple and Priceline before the share price plunged 10% in a matter of days. What do you think about this recent volatility? I have been very clear. I recommended closing half of a huge long position at $634. At the same time while taking profits at $634, it was recommended to hedge against an eventual sell off, strategy which quite frankly it was proven to be brilliant, since personally I have not lost anything, despite the hard sell off to $575. Quite the contrary! I comprehend investors are nervous since most of them have been buying the stock very recently on Wall Street upgrades to $800-$1000 targets. Investors feel excited; they need to participate in the party or they consider themselves losers. On the other hand, I do not care since I always had a plan. Clients know precisely what to do and what to expect in the worst case scenario. I always plan for the worst, not the best, and before assuming a position. More important, Clients have made a huge return regardless of this quarter numbers. Regarding, the recommendation for profit taking in Priceline at $769 announced live on the blog of the company, all I have to say is that I have done my job. Unlike Wall Street, I am not a fan of the $1000 restrict club.
What's your upside in Apple? It has been $708. Unless Apple misses drastically I have not changed it so far.
What's your downside? I prefer not to address that question. Don't get me wrong on this topic. That's the $1 billion question everyone has. Obviously, I am not going to address it here. Historically, Wall Street is very fast disclosing upgrades and very slow on downgrades, in particular companies with an important weight on indices.
What do you expect for this quarter? Frankly, I do not have very high expectations for this quarter. This is a 600 Billion company at this point. Anyone trying to predict the precise long term top is wasting time and money. Apple still has several cards on their side in case share price plunges such as buy backs and eventual stock split in the future. How important is Apple earnings for you? It is always important but it is not a big deal if it sells off. My dream seeing Intuitive Surgical up 600% is far more important than Apple earnings this quarter since I added to the position a considerable amount of stock ahead of earnings as I had the opportunity to share with clients, unlike Apple which I sold half at a price I have to consider reasonable without further data. This vision has been accomplished. Intuitive jumped $33 after earnings report unlike IBM or Intel, on a remarkable report. You want to be invested in Gems and Intuitive has proven to be one. I remind that during the past three years, I had to fight against multiple consecutive downgrades. In you research, you will find out Intuitive Surgical has been on very strong hands, not the sort of gamblers who invade the stock market looking for the fast profit. Do you have any advice to offer to investors before Apple announcement next week? The only individual concerned with Apple earnings is the real loser who has been buying the stock at $600 instead of buying it at $58, when I recommended the single largest position on a stock ever. I do not comprehend how investors having small accounts decide to invest in Apple at this point even if the share price climbs to $700 or $800. If you do not have a deep understanding of trading this very high volatility knocks-out the small investors on a matter of days and we all know that. Professionals take advantage of this volatility on their own benefit.
What do you dislike about Apple? Management cashing in. I do not like when management is on the company to get rich, even of they have the legal right to exercise their options. Steve was coherent from day one to the very end. I also don't like Foxconn story. Having said this, Apple is the best company of all times in
terms of execution.
Are you finally publishing a Case Study about Intuitive Surgical after three long years as a shareholder, professional trader, and coach in this great stock? Yes. Finally, I have approval from company shareholders to do it. It will include an important testimonial from a Client digitally signed confirming a profit of $24 million. He also announced to be retiring. I am the poor guy continuing supporting the structure. However, for me the important has never been the profit, but rather the entire process it took confirming a long term vision, which I had to be careful about at some stages, due to permanent attacks and Wall Street disbelief.
Great Call in Salesforce calling it a Strong Buy. Why have you liked so much Salesforce? How do you justify its P/E? Don't forget I also called the crash in Salesforce $156 down to $98 last year. It was a very important event. I know the company very well. I am in contact with them daily. Beyond Trading is a customer. You do not invest in, nor trade stocks based on P/E, otherwise I would have lost all the money buying Research in Motion (RIMM), which by the way has been an excellent long term short since I called the top in 2007-2008, down to junk status. Price of a stock reflects supply and demand at a given point and ultimately it is sentiment that drives share price. You have to be an expert reading sentiment. I do it by watching the tape. I only trust the tape and my own intuition. I do not read newspapers, watch TV and I have never attended a conference call in my life. I have very strict rules, one of them is precisely trading against the crowd.
Today everyone talks about Intuitive Surgical, Priceline, Salesforce, Apple and Google. What do you think about it? I have defined them as Class A stocks a long time ago before this very recent chatter about the first to reach $1000. That's not my game. I am not in sales.
Could you tell us about your recent Google earnings call? I had the opportunity to hear it from one of your customers. It's unbelievable! One hour before closing bell, I announced Google after-hours target $670. During afterhours trading once the share price sells to $637, I send an alert to buy it and the rest is simply history: share price rallies precisely to $670, where I announce to sell immediately. The most impressive is the fact the price did not reach $672 or $668, it was precisely $670, as I said before earnings. I had this vision. Lots of people sold it after-hours on my call to sell short Google since then. I am pretty happy about it. One day I may publish the video.
How's your relationship with clients? As I have been telling them since day one in 1999, once in they have two options: to listen to, to learn, to make a considerable amount of money, or to quit as fast as possible, since I have no patience for losers, retards, to argue, and for people unwilling to change their attitude. Bear in mind, many of them if not most (laughs) have far more capital than myself. I am a mere guy, who they call a visionary, coaching, sharing a personal opinion with them. I confess that sometimes I do have to shake them emotionally, but it has proven to have great benefits. It's a gift from God and at the same time it has been a considerable responsibility for more than 20 years. Despite working 18 hours per day, it has been a pleasure to do it. The testimonials I like the most are those mentioning how I helped some of them evolving as individuals instead of all the money they have been making. This fulfills my inself. I have never taken trading emotionally unlike most individuals. It has to flow naturally from you.
Many continue asking about Beyond Trading not been accepting new clients for the past 9 months. Is this about to change? I do not know. I am not an employee of the company. I represent the shareholders but everyone knows the company does not have a sales team. If the team and in particular Clients are occupied making money trading why to change it? I am a professional having some real outstanding dedicated clients. I would say investors had 9 years to subscribe since company inception. That's a long time...don't you think? I have an agreement with the company to provide a service called "Trading for a Living". Of all of them, I am the less concerned with money since it has never been an objective. Profit is a consequence of your hard work while following a methodology, not an end.
Which do you consider the most relevant events of the past three years? Firstly, 700% growth in 2011 while Wall Street succumbed, not one single loss. Secondly, unlike what one may think it was not March 2009 bottom, which I called but rather the bottoms in Apple and Intuitive Surgical in 2010, $238 and $249 respectively. Those were very important pivots for the bull market that followed. Thirdly, the crash in financials, housing market and MF Global which I called down to zero.
What do you see in markets going ahead? I have reasons to believe we are at a crossroad. Personally, but this is my personal opinion, I would prefer to see a future correction rather than continuous speculation, even if some stocks might be considered reasonably priced, others are certainly not.
What do you think about the situation in Europe? It's a shame. We do not have politicians as before. We are in great need of other Churchill. I got used to this complacency and shameless behavior from individuals who entitle themselves leaders fighting for the next legislation, instead of sitting down with everyone else defining a concrete and solid plan for the future, explaining it to every citizen who down the road is paying for all this mess. I am concerned with the situation in Spain.
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