Analyst talks of iOS 'everywhere,' Cook's bold strategies
Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."
Expects 'busy fall' with new iPhone, long-awaited 'iWatch' debuts
Despite some disappointments in Apple's latest quarterly earnings report, analysts appear to be satisfied that the company's overall financial picture is in order, particularly on the strength of rising margins and strong developing market sales. The stock closed up $2.47 on Tuesday (an increase of 2.61 percent) to close at $97.19, not far from its 52-week high. On Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets raised its year-end target price to $110, joining Barclays and Morgan Stanley in predicting the company would hit an all-time high this year.
Expected 'iWatch' acceptance, customer loyalty, new iPhone, strong management all factors
On the same day as Apple's stock hit a 52-week high, closing at $96.43 per share on Monday, two major brokerage houses have upped their predictions for year-end AAPL prices to $110, which would put the stock past its best-ever performance, even adjusted for the number of additional shares created. Morgan Stanley credited strong customer loyalty which will in turn drives initial sales of the long-rumored "iWatch," while Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes expresses new confidence in Apple management.
More carriers, more countries to carry iPhone sales in June, leading to new models for holidays
At least some Wall Street analysts believe that Apple may have found a way to do well in the traditionally-slower summer months leading up the reveal of the next iPhone, expected sometime this fall. Maynard Um of Wells Fargo believes that Apple may be in a position to set an all-time record for June quarterly sales in its next report , predicting the company has sold some 36.5 million smartphones by opening up new markets. Meanwhile, Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra looks to a spectacular holiday season.
Pundits' expectations for 'iPhone 6' models fuel upbeat speculation
Analyst Charlie Wolf of investment firm Needham has taken the unusual step of breaking his twice-yearly cycle of AAPL price target updates, revising a forecast announced back before the most recent stock split that has remained "underwater" -- below the trading price -- since well before the split occurred. Wolf's previous guess of $590 (or a split-adjusted $86.32), issued back in February, has now been upgraded to a conservative $97 target. Other analysts have also raised their estimates for the company recently.
Believes 2014 iPhone will do well in larger sizes, new products still to come
Nearly a working week after AAPL began trading on a split-adjusted basis, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani notified his clients that he has adjusted his price target for the stock from $96 to $100 per share. He stopped short of predicting the company would break its all-time high of (adjusted) $100.72, which it achieved in September of 2012. The stock declined slightly on Thursday, and is now $8.44 away from breaking that record -- a feat many analysts predict will happen this year.
Price may be rising on WWDC speculation rather than split
As anticipation builds ahead of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for possible new product announcements, Apple's stock has been concurrently rising ahead of a seven-to-one stock split, fuelling investor interest. On Tuesday, AAPL rose to a 52-week high, closing at $625.71 -- a rise of $11.58 from Monday's close.
Aggressive reinvestment plan, expected new products resonating
As of the closing bell on Monday, Apple's stock exceeded $600 for the first time since October 26, 2012, setting a new 52-week high for the company and rising further in after-hours trading. The stock closed at $600.96 for the day and presently stands at $602.21 in the after-hours market. Apple's aggressive changes in share buyback, increasing dividends, an upcoming 7:1 stock split and expected new products coming later this year have combined to make the stock attractive again.
Shares up $70 since announcements of expanded buybacks, more
Apple's stock closed on Monday at a year-to-date high-water mark, closing in on $600 as the repeated message of last week's earnings call -- Tim Cook's "we believe the stock to be undervalued" mantra -- appeared to sink in on the back of better-than-expected iPhone sales, an expansion of the stock buyback program and an announced 7-to-1 stock split taking place next month. The stock has jumped almost exactly $70 since last Thursday.
Dividends also to go up on an annual basis in moves to increase stock value
In a surprise announcement, Apple will do a 7:1 stock split on June 6, giving stockholders of record as of June 2 an additional six shares for every one share of stock they currently hold. Trading will resume on June 9 at the split-adjusted price, which CEO Tim Cook has said the company wants to be more affordable so that smaller investors can get into the stock. Given today's closing price of $524.75, the average price of a share would drop to $75 if the split were happening now.
Company likely to announce adjusted policies during next earnings call
Tech analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has told investors in a new memo that he expects "moderate" increases in both Apple's share-buyback program and its dividend to shareholders, likely to be announced during the company's next earnings call, scheduled for April 23. This belief, he noted, is already "priced into" shares of AAPL and is unlikely to take price any higher in and of itself. The current quarterly dividend, raised last year, is $3.05 per common share.
Ignores developing markets, or Apple's other products
There is a tendency among analysts to think of Apple as only "the iPhone maker" and ignore its other products and services, feeling that the fortunes of its most popular and profitable product -- the iPhone -- is the key to the company's overall health, at least in terms of its performance on Wall Street. Barclay's analyst Ben Reitzes told investors in a memo on Thursday that he expects AAPL to stay within a narrow range for the next two years.
Cook eager to show investors that company is confident in future
Just two weeks after it reported its fiscal Q1 2014 results -- which set records in many areas but disappointed iPhone-focused investors -- Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed in an interview that the company has repurchased another $14 billion of its own stock , on top of over $40 billion spent on buybacks over the past year. Some $12 billion of the new purchase was part of the regular buyback program, with another $2 billion bought separately on the open market.
Icahn, CalPERS at odds over buyback strategy ahead of shareholders' meeting
The close of the market today, which saw Apple's stock rise $3.80 to close at $512.59, marked the beginning of the company's "ex-dividend" period, where no new trades of AAPL will be included in dividend calculations. Shareholders of record will receive $3.05 per share beginning Thursday, February 13, with the annual shareholders' meeting scheduled to take place two weeks later. The question of how Apple manages its enormous cash hoard has become something of a public spat between two large-volume investors, Carl Icahn and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
Cook tied his reward more closely with stock performance over company performance
A move made by Apple CEO Tim Cook and the board of directors at Apple has ended up costing Cook some $4 million in additional bonuses over the previous arrangement, according to proxy statements filed by the company over the weekend. Cook annually receives a stock grant, but because AAPL didn't outperform the overall S&P500 average to which the award is tied, Cook lost about half of the grant, which would currently be worth about $4 million.
Stock's recent rise reflects expectations for record quarter
Apple's stock finally surpassed its previous 2013 high on Friday, beating the $549.03 mark to close at $556.07. The former high mark came on January 2, reflecting a year that saw the company doing brisk business in revenues, but penalized by Wall Street for lacking any category-redefining product or service, and being slow to update existing products. The perception -- not wholly accurate -- that Apple was losing influence and marketshare also played a role.
David Miller brought down his employer, still faces civil lawsuit
A former stock trader who bankrupted his former employer in a bet on Apple stock that went bad, and who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in a plea deal, has been sentenced to prison for his crimes - for one-tenth of the maximum time he faced. David Miller, 41, will serve 30 months in prison for his scheme to buy more than 1,000 times the amount of AAPL a customer ordered, on the same day that Apple was to announce its third-quarter revenues in 2012. He planned to sell the excess stock when the price rose, and pocket the difference for himself.
Nearly $3 billion 'returned' to shareholders in latest payout
If you held any AAPL stock as of last Wednesday, your account is going to get a little boost tomorrow. Apple will be paying $3.05 per share to "shareholders of record" as of November 6 in the latest quarterly dividend, which arrives tomorrow and totals nearly $3 billion, a 15 percent rise from the year-ago quarter. While the amount Apple has paid out has gone up over the last few quarters, the company has actually saved billions in stock buybacks.
Google still king of mutual funds; upcoming iOS launches deemed key
On top of the long-awaited upward trend in AAPL in recent weeks, hedge-fund investors have begun returning to Apple for investments as well -- a positive sign for continued stock growth. Apple's stock is now once again the most-held stock among hedge fund investors, though Google continues to be the most popular stock with mutual-fund investors. Google was briefly the top pick among both groups of investors last March.
Investors like idea of bigger buyback, possibly imminent iPhone release
Apple's stock closed above $500 on Friday, continuing a recent rally that began after investor Carl Icahn revealed both an interest in having Apple buy back more of its own stock as well as his holding of a "very large" position in the company, which he said was "undervalued." His comments, alongside further legal wins, upcoming product releases and other general good news for the company, has seen the stock rise from $393.78 per share in late June to close at $502.33 today. It is continuing its gains in after-hours trading.
Stock surge in anticipation of fall products pushes AAPL back up
Though things could change again tomorrow, Apple on Thursday once again became the world's most valuable publicly-traded company by market cap, rising $4.15 (nearly a percentage point) to close at $456.68 per share (and still rising in after-hours trading, currently at $457.65). With a value approaching $415 billion, the company re-took the crown from Exxon Mobil, which fell by a dollar after a bad earnings report and lowered its overall market cap to $412 billion. AAPL has risen almost $50 over the past month, but is still off its 2013 high of $549.03 per share.
Board members Drexler, Campbell follow in Oppenheimer's footsteps
Less than a week after Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer sold some of his AAPL holdings to the tune of $16.4 million, two other members of Apple's board have let go of smaller amounts of stock, grossing a total of $19 million before taxes in recent days. Long-standing board member and J. Crew CEO Millard Drexler sold 32,562 shares in the company (gaining $14.6 million) while Intuit Chairman William Campbell sold 10,000 shares for a gross gain of $4.4 million. Both men sold shares awarded to them from their director stock options.
Cook trip to China, Greenlight holdings may help buoy stock
Though both the S&P and Dow Jones averages rose little on Tuesday, Apple stock rose 1.2 percent to close at $453.32 -- the first time the stock has closed over $450 since mid-May, and on the heels of the revelation that Apple CEO Tim Cook is again in China, talking to current partners and possibly trying to break the logjam that has kept the iPhone out of China's largest carrier, China Mobile. This is Cook's third trip to China since becoming CEO, with all the trips centered on boosting iPhone sales in the region.
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.