Rogue broker ruins own firm, defrauds another in bad bet
David Miller, a former stock trader who brought down his employer in a bet on Apple stock, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in a plea deal reached with prosecutors. The incident began when Miller improperly bought 1,000 times the number of shares requested by a customer, expecting Apple's stock price to rise and then selling off the excess stock and pocketing the profit before the fraud was noticed. He had been facing up to 25 years in prison for the fraud, but instead will likely see a five-to-eight year sentence.
Pundits fear competition, productions issues hurting Apple
On Friday, AAPL closed the week by dropping nearly $11 to $430.87, its lowest point since January 2012. The stock has now lost nearly 40 percent from its all-time high of $705 a share, and despite healthy sales forecasts and a string of better news for the company, including the dropping of David Einhorn's "silly sideshow" lawsuit over the issuing of preferred stock. The falling price comes in the face of Wall Street managing to eek out a tiny gain for the day, in spite of news that congressional leaders are unable to avoid the so-called "sequestration" crisis.
Suggests that analysts don't have full picture, rely on bad info
Both CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer took time in today's conference call with analysts to specifically (or by inference) debunk a number of recent rumours about the company, and to suggest to analysts that they rely too heavily on bad information -- and that even when they do get a bit of gossip that turns out to be true, they are unable to see the information in the broader context, which may change its interpretation. It was a rare direct assault on the market-manipulation and other forces that have plagued the company and its stock.
See consensus-beating iPhone sales as likely
Reinforcing the notion that some of Apple's recent stock-price tumble may be down to call options timing and manipulations of the media meant to keep the price low, two prominent investment houses have painted a bright picture for the company based on the expectation that Apple will be able to beat consensus estimates on its flagship iPhone sales. One firm has raised year-end targets on the stock to a staggering $1,111 -- more than double the current price.
Institutional buyers, others may have a fix in against AAPL
In the wake of considerable media backlash over a highly-questionable Wall Street Journal story claiming that Apple had cut back orders on iPhone parts to "half" previous levels -- a claim now clearly shown to be inaccurate -- AAPL has dropped to its lowest price in nine months, closing on Tuesday at $485.92 (though it is up to almost $490 in after-hours trading). Evidence has now emerged that some investors may be deliberately trying to suppress the stock.
China worries, 'fiscal cliff' drive stock down in Q4
Apple finished the calendar year in 2012 with a strong lineup of holiday products, including a (wisely, as it turned out) refreshed iPad lineup that became the top-selling tech gift of the year. From a stock perspective, the last three months have been tumultuous for investors, however even with the recent drop of 27 percent, the company finished the year with a nearly 30 percent gain and is still the most valuable traded company in the world.
China Mobile issues, sales slowdown rumors behind fall
Apple's stock took an unexpected beating in the market on Wednesday, losing 6.43 percent of its value and shedding some $35 billion in market capitalization after the worst single-day drop in price in almost four years. AAPL lost just over $37 per share on a combination of worries, rumors and unsubstantiated reports. The loss was so dramatic that it accounted for the whole of NASDAQ's 1.1 percent drop for the day, even while the Dow and other indexes rose slightly. The iPad maker is now hovering just over $508 billion in valuation.
Cash-in plan backfires, leaves company with heavy losses
A now-fired broker at Rochdale Securities tried to quickly cash in on a stock windfall generated by Apple's earning announcements, but ended up costing his employer millions and has been arrested and charged with fraud. David Miller's scheme was roiled when AAPL fell instead of rose on the company's record-breaking quarter, due to a slip in expected iPad growth. It is charged that he improperly bought 1,000 times the number of shares requested by a customer, planning to dump the excess and pocket the profit when the price went up.
Capital gains taxes scheduled to go up next year
Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has become the latest executive to dispose of a significant quantity of AAPL stock, according to a filing at the SEC. Cue has sold off nearly all of his shares (though he will be receiving more soon) to the tune of $8.76 million, parting with 15,000 shares and holding (albeit temporarily) just 285 shares presently. Like a number of other Apple executives, Cue is likely selling the shares to avoid a almost-certain rise in the rate of capital-gains taxation taking effect in January.
Donates a portion of sale to charity
The Vice President of Hardware Engineering for Apple, Dan Riccio, has sold over 20,000 shares of Apple stock he had accumulated over the years, netting the executive nearly $11 million in total, though around $525,000 of it has been set aside as a charitable donation. Including that gift, the total value of the 19,726 shares sold is approximately $10.73 million, minus any applicable taxes. Riccio replaced the formerly-retiring Bob Mansfield as head of hardware engineering, with Mansfield returning to the company to head up a new "Technologies" group.
Investors strangely skittish, perhaps on capital gains fears
A dubious analysis by CNBC of the culprits behind the unusual downturn in Apple's stock price has identified hedge funds as having dumped their shares in the world's most valuable publicly-traded company in an effort to take profits from it before the end of the year. AAPL, which has seen a spectacular increase in value over the last several years, is thought by some analysts to be heading for a period of less-remarkable gains now that competition in the smartphone and tablet space has matured, which may have triggered the drop in price.
Predicted to hit $750 per share by January
Apple's stock has regained some $82 billion in market capitalization in just the last seven weeks, closing today just shy of $610, the first time the stock has ended the trading day over $600 per share since late April. It hit a low of $530 per share in mid-May but has steadily climbed back since then, and is trading above $610 in after-hours activity this evening. Predictions of strong foreign sales may be behind the recent rise.
Stock reaching further in after-hours trading
Another significant milestone was reached today as Apple's stock (AAPL) closed over $600 for the first time ever, though it has hit that mark in intra-day trading on recent occasions. Investors reacted strongly to the news this morning that the company would begin paying a dividend on stock for the first time since 1995, starting in the July quarter. Hints and finally confirmation of explosive sales of the new iPad also helped push the stock up.
Milestone puts further value in market cap
Having broken the $500 barrier earlier in the day, shares of AAPL closed today at a new all-time record high of $502.60, though the stock is fluctuating around the closing figure in after-hours trading. The milestone puts Apple even further ahead of ExxonMobile as the world's most valued publicly-traded company with a new market capitalization of $468.61 billion while still maintaining a low price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 14.30.
Surpasses Exxon Mobile with $422B market cap
Apple's stocked closed at $453.01 on Monday, a new all-time high for the company still seeing the effects of its record-setting last quarter reverberate on Wall Street. The stock rose $5.73 to beat the previous all-time closing high of $447.28 set last Friday. At its current market value of $422 billion, Apple surpasses Exxon Mobil by nearly $13 billion as the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world, at least temporarily.
Up 24 percent in 2011, 44.81 percent Y/Y
Apple stock (AAPL) broke through the $400 barrier for the first time on Friday, closing the market session at $400.50 on Friday and maintaining an over-$400 balance in after-hours trading. The stock had temporarily reached above $400 before -- up to a high of $404.50 -- but Friday was the first time it had closed above $400. The volume on the stock was just under 25 million shares, starting the day at $395 and rising 7.5 points or 1.92 percent.
Company reports yet another best quarter
Apple stock has surged past $400 per share in after-hours trading, gaining over six percent in additional value after the company announced yet another "best quarter ever" shortly after the markets closed for the day. Shares had already gained $3 to reach $376 earlier in the day, following a number of positive analyst forecasts ahead of the company's quarterly financial disclosures.
Also divests of HP, SanDisk and chipmakers
Famous investment fund manager Ken Heebner, who scored big in the early part of this decade by betting against technology stocks ahead of their fall, has divested himself of nearly all his holdings of Apple and HP stock, along with SanDisk and lesser-known semiconductor makers Avago and Micron Technology, SEC filings show. No reason for the sell-off has been publicly announced, but Heebner's move -- which actually happened near the end of last quarter -- was revealed on Friday, sparking a sudden three-percent drop in AAPL. Hewlett-Packard's stock also suffered a similar dip.
Contends Apple will move 5.4M iPads in Q4 alone
When it comes to iPads, analyst Doug Reid of Stifel Financial is very bullish: in addition to raising his fourth-quarter sales estimates for most iOS devices, Reid points out that among all the talked-about iPad competitors, only one is actually available for sale at present, and all are "disadvantaged by unsuccessful attempts to integrate first generation tablet hardware with mobile OSes (Android 2.2/3.0, Chrome) that remain either nascent or entirely unproven relative to Apple's nearly 4-year old iOS."
Analysts consider stock undervalued
Apple stock (AAPL) on Thursday surged to a new record high amid rampant rumors surrounding the unconfirmed tablet device. Shares reached past $209 in late day trading, up approximately 10 percent in a single week. The stock has more than doubled in value since it bottomed out around $78 in January of this year.
Apple financials examined
Shaw Wu of the Kaufman Brothers has updated estimates of Apple's December quarter, Rating Apple stock a buy with a favorable risk-reward balance. Wu's estimates have seen little movement, with a more conservative approach on iPods, but assuming a higher average sales price (ASP). Expectation are of reductions in the strong European iPhone sales, primarily due to iPhone gift cards; many won't be activated between Christmas and New Year's, moving the profits to the March quarter.
Apple shares plummet
Apple's shares plummeted in after-hours trading today, nearly $19 per share or just over 12 percent to stand at $136.82 as of 5:35PM ET. Shares had already lost about 3.5 percent during normal trading hours on volume of about 85 million. That means Apple's shares are off more than 30 percent from their 52-week high of $202 reached in late December, 2007. Propelling the earnings decline was Apple's earning forecast. For its second quarter, Apple expects earnings of about 94 cents per share on about $6.8 billion in revenue. Analysts expected earnings of $1.09 per share on revenue of $6.98 billion. This despite the fact that Apple is predicting a 29 percent increase in revenue year-over-year, while last march revenue grew only 21 percent.