Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson Discusses Apple's iPhone Sales, World Wrestling Entertainment's Strategy And Other Issues

To listen to the full interview, click here.

On April 27, 2015, Rev. Father Emmanuel Lemelson, founder and president of The Lantern Foundation and chief investment officer of Lemelson Capital Management, appeared on Benzinga's Pre-Market Prep show to discuss Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE), and other positions held by Lemelson Capital's top-performing Amvona Fund.


In the interview, Fr. Emmanuel commented on the firm's current long position in shares of Apple, Geospace Technologies (NASDAQ:GEOS) and it's new short position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND). Lemelson also continues to examine the impact of subscriber numbers on WWE's valuation.

Among Lemelson's comments on the Benzinga show:

On Apple: "Chances are they're going to break all the estimates, I wouldn't be surprised if they hit 60 million iPhone units sales, probably iPad will continue to decline" said Lemelson. "Chances are they will increase the dividend, hopefully they'll increase their share buyback," Lemelson added.

Among his comments on Apple's future prospects:

"When you look at Apple as a platform they're really the only major technology company that controls both their hardware and their software and they are also one of the only technology companies to have a robust desktop and mobile business" said Lemelson. "That's important because as their base of users snowballs I think there is an increasing discord people feel at work and that gives rise to a tremendous opportunity in the enterprise for Apple," Lemelson added. 

For some of Lemelson's recent commentary on Apple, click here:

Benzinga - This Hedge Fund Manager 'Wouldn't Be Surprised' If iPhone Units Hit 60 Million (April 27, 2015)

Benzinga - This Hedge Fund Manager Is 'Increasingly Confident In The Success Of Apple Watch (March 09, 2015)

On Lemelson Capital's long position in Geospace Technologies, Lemelson said:

"Seismic is still the leading technology, not just for exploration of new reserves, but also for the judicious management of existing reserves," Lemelson added. "Irrespective of the price of oil, E & P will have to continue at some point."

"We're still buyers of the shares, we own close to 5% of the company and we'll probably keep buying it," Lemelson added.

For some of Lemelson's previous commentary on Geospace Technologies, click here:

Benzinga - Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson, Lemelson Capital Management CIO - #PreMarket Prep for March 24, 2015 (March 25, 2015)

ValueWalk - Lemelson Announces 2% Stake in Geospace Technologies Corp (October 20, 2014)

Benzinga - Shares of Geospace Technologies Close 4.5% Higher, Indicated for Further Gains in Post-Market Session Following Earlier Mid-Day News Lemelson Capital Has Announced 2% Stake (October 20, 2014)

Seeking Alpha News - Geospace +4.2% after activist discloses stake; Ion +5.9% (October 20, 2014)

Among Lemelson's comments on the remainder of 2015:

"Going into 2015 it looks pretty reasonable to be short things like small bio-tech and long oil and gas," Lemelson said.

On Lemelson Capital's new short position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Lemelson said:

"We started shorting it again around 76 ½, it keeps going up, it's just an amazing thing, and we keep shorting it actually, so our average price we shorted it at is around 82 now, we'll probably keep shorting it as it goes up." Lemelson added, "we don't' think any of the indications they are developing have any real long-term value, we don't' think the company as a whole has any intrinsic value, in our opinion it looks more like an operation designed to transfer equity from common shareholders to management through stock awards, and that's something that cannot last in perpetuity," Lemelson continued.

"We feel very comfortable being short a stock like that because we think frankly they're part of a bubble."

For some of Lemelson's previous commentary and research reports on Ligand Pharmaceuticals, click here:

Benzinga - Exclusive: Emmanuel Lemelson Talks Ligand Pharmaceuticals (August 8th, 2014)

USA Today - Money manager betting against biotech firm Ligand Pharmaceuticals (June 16th, 2014)

Lemelson Capital's previous research reports (including PDF versions) on Ligand can be found here.

On February 20, 2015, Lemelson Capital disclosed that it had sold all but one of its shares of World Wrestling Entertainment at "around $16.50".

Among Lemelson's comments on Benzinga regarding WWE: "Vince McMahon deserves a lot of credit for seeing the future of OTT, it is the future and he jumped out a head of it," Lemelson said. They still have under 1 million paying subscribers and that's not enough to break-even," Lemelson continued.

"it doesn't look good for the OTT network, it's a huge source of costs that is draining the company, which is already performing very badly financially, it's important not to confuse the fervor of the fans and their feelings about the brand with wise fiscal management, which the company needs very badly, but increasingly is probably out of reach because of corporate governance issues." Lemelson concluded, "If you have to be on one side of the trade, it's probably safer to be on the short side."

For some of Lemelson's previous commentary on WWE, click here:

Barron's - Stocks Climb 2% as Nasdaq Tops 15-Year Record (April 27, 2015)

USA Today - Smack down at World Wide Entertainment (March 30, 2015)

Benzinga - WWE Slips On Network Subscriber Data (March 30, 2015)

Benzinga - Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson, Lemelson Capital Management CIO - #PreMarket Prep for March 24, 2015 (March 25, 2015)

FINalternatives - Emmanuel Lemelson Questions Leadership, Strategy at WWE (March 19, 2015)

Benzinga - Hedge Fund Manager Questions WWE's Partnership With DraftKings (March 19, 2015)

Benzinga - Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson, CIO Lemelson Capital - PreMarket Prep Show (February 20, 2015)

To listen to the full interview as well as Lemelson's commentary on the Mayweather-Pacquiao event, click here.


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