Today, 9:03 AM
- Rather than chase surging stocks at fancy valuations, the team at Barron's looked for laggards when making its picks, writes Andrew Bary.
- The names, nevertheless, aren't exactly unfamiliar ones: Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), Unilever (NYSE:UL), Disney (NYSE:DIS).
- Eight of these ten are trailing the S&P 500 this year, including the three European stocks (Deutsche Telekom, Novartis, and Unilever), and all of the names except Google sell for less than 20x 2017 estimates.
- At just 10x earnings, Toll Brothers, Citi, and Delta are better ways to play an improving economy than Caterpillar at nearly 30x.
- As for the "pricey" Google, it's an example of the Buffett maxim that he'd rather buy a wonderful business at a fair price rather than a fair business at a wonderful price.
- Barron's top picks for 2016 as a group are trailing the S&P 500 by more than 600 basis points.
Today, 8:40 AM
- via Tim Higgins and Tripp Mickle at the WSJ
- In a letter from Steve Kenner - Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) director of product integrity - to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, he offered no details on the so-called Project Titan, but said his company "is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.”
- The letter comes as the Obama administration in its last days is rushing to put guidelines in place to help guide the development of self-driving vehicles.
- Apple's letter calls on the NHTSA to quickly adopt new safety rules, but to also be flexible. It also hints at Apple's ambition to go global, as it encourages the agency to work with those overseas for a "harmonized approach to automated vehicles."
- Full letter at NHSTA website
Thu, Dec. 1, 9:37 AM
- Bloomberg sources Apple (AAPL +0.2%) as developing a team of data-collection and robotics professionals to deploy drones in an effort to improve its mapping capabilities. The company currently drives vehicles around the world to collect data used in its Maps service.
- The drone initiative is said to enable survey of items like street signs, changes to routes and areas of construction.
- Indoor mapping is claimed in focus as well, with views of airport and other high-traffic building interiors cited to be under development. Similar indoor initiatives have already been underway at rival Google Maps.
- With Apple's Maps offering historically considered second-tier relative to Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) service, and the significance of mapping technology ever-increasing as integrations with ride-sharing, travel and other external apps rely heavily on it, attention and potential forthcoming improvements mark encouraging signs.
Thu, Dec. 1, 9:31 AM
- November monthly performance was: +0.62%
- 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -5%
- No dividends were paid in November
- Top 10 Holdings as of 10/31/2016: Apple Inc (AAPL): 4.78232%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.6545%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.09427%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.43859%, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM): 1.36332%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 1.34175%, Intel Corp (INTC): 1.2948%, Bank of America Corporation (BAC): 1.2811%, Pfizer Inc (PFE): 1.22767%, Alphabet Inc C (GOOG): 1.22159%
Thu, Dec. 1, 8:49 AM
- November monthly performance was: +3.54%
- 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -3%
- No dividends were paid in November
- Top 10 Holdings as of 10/31/2016: Apple Inc (AAPL): 6.80131%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 5.15024%, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM): 3.74079%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.88197%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 2.47992%, AT&T Inc (T): 2.43052%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 2.30872%, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN): 2.24391%, Facebook Inc A (FB): 2.2067%, Alphabet Inc C (GOOG): 2.16615%
Wed, Nov. 30, 3:18 PM
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission formally moves to deny authorization to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
- The banks are looking to negotiate access to Near-Field Communication [NFC] controllers in iPhones in order to provide their own digital wallets independent of, and in direct competition to, Apple Pay. Bargaining on terms of fees Apple levies for use of the service is additionally sought.
- Initially brought forth in July, a final determination on the matter is expected March 2017.
- As Apple (AAPL -0.7%) looks to expand Apple Pay throughout the world, such conflict wth long-established banking operations appears inevitable and indicative of a given cost of doing business in the space.
Mon, Nov. 28, 4:38 PM
- Launching November 30.
- Availability – Android devices and tablets, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Fire TV Stick, Chromecast (Android on launch, iOS 2017), Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari browsers, Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays. Roku and other device compatibility planned for 2017.
- Packages – Live a Little ($35/month, 60+ channels), Just Right ($50/month, 80+ channels), Go Big ($60/month, 80+ channels) [launch promotion for $35/month], Gotta Have It ($70/month, 120+ channels)
- HBO and Cinemax add-ons available at $5/month.
- Promotions noted in collaboration with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) [Apple TV included with any package prepaid for 3 months], Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) [Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote included with any package prepaid for 1 month], LeEco [service included for variable timeframes with purchase of certain smartphones and TVs] and Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY) [1 month service included with purchase of laptops with Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors].
- AT&T (NYSE:T) shares are unmoved (+0.03%) in extended trading at $39.55.
- Launch event live-stream
- DirecTV Now
Mon, Nov. 28, 12:07 PM
- On estimates 5M-6M of the devices will sell during the term. For the final three months of 2016, projects 3M Pixels (GOOG, GOOGL) to move, generating sales of $2B.
- Comparatively, Apple (AAPL +0.1%) sold 212M iPhones in FY 2016 leading to $137B in revenue, and 45.5M in Q4, producing $28B. Morgan Stanley additionally forecasts 22%-25% gross profit margins on Pixel, depending on configuration, compared to an estimated 41% for iPhone.
- Notes ancillary profit potential for the Pixel involving greater monetization of users on the Android operating system resulting from distinct feature integrations (Google Assistant, Daydream) and other improvements the ecosystem will benefit from. Increased search monetization also considered on the tight association between the device, Android operating system and Google's search foundation.
Mon, Nov. 28, 5:58 AM
- An iPhone with a curved screen could be on store shelves as soon as next year.
- Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) suppliers say they have been asked to increase output of thinner organic light emitting displays and submit prototype screens with better resolution than ones from Samsung to differentiate its models, WSJ reports.
- OLEDs don't require a backlight component to illuminate the screen and allow for flexible designs.
Tue, Nov. 22, 3:33 PM
- Looking at the top 50 hedge fund hotels, it's probably little surprise that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) top the list, with Amazon making for a top 10 holding in 61 funds, and Facebook in 57.
- Rounding out the top 10 are Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN).
- Looking at another gauge - the percent of market cap owned by hedge funds - shows CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) leading the way, with hedge funds owning 37%. Next is Dell Technologies (NYSE:DVMT) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) at 30%, and after that: Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDK) at 24%, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) at 21%, Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) at 20%, and Humana (NYSE:HUM) and WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:WWAV) at 19%.
- Previously: Goldman's list of shorts mattering most to hedge funds (Nov. 22)
Tue, Nov. 22, 12:10 PM
- Notable given the company's refrain from participation last year and generally overall muted history of offering any sort of direct sales events.
- Details on what Apple's (AAPL +0.1%) planning are limited, though the last time (2014) it engaged in Black Friday sales practices, bundled gift cards and charitable donations were among the highlights.
Tue, Nov. 22, 11:47 AM
- Not the only patent Apple's (AAPL +0.1%) filed of late with flexible claims.
- While the above-linked document registered earlier this month mainly targets printed circuit boards and other structures, the one issued to Apple today defines broader relation to cellular telephones, media players and computers.
- Formation of displays using flexible organic light-emitting diode [OLED] technology, something that has been speculated for builds of forthcoming iPhone iterations, is additionally cited as example within the description.
- United States Patent 9,504,170
Mon, Nov. 21, 11:50 AM
- Canaccord Genuity's Michael Walkley restates Apple (AAPL +1.5%) at Buy with a $140 target (current price $111.74), citing "dominant value share" regarding the iPhone and an install base of 570M he projects for at the exit of 2016. Considers this base to generate robust future iPhone replacement revenue and earnings, and sees cash flow generation capable of funding solid long-term capital returns.
- Similarly at Oppenheimer & Co., analyst Andrew Uerkwitz highlights Apple's iPhone, though for less encouraging reasons. He cites potentially peaked average selling prices, limited opportunity for hardware innovation, increasing competition contributing to less differentiation and a general forthcoming excessive dependence on the iPhone resulting from what the analyst observes as a lacking leadership position in AI, cloud-based services and messaging. Consequently maintains Perform rating.
Mon, Nov. 21, 8:14 AM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, in a move to try to sharpen the company's focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, Bloomberg reports.
- The tech giant started shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV.
Fri, Nov. 18, 3:22 AM
- "Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) asked both Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF) and Pegatron (OTC:PGTRF), the two iPhone assemblers, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S.," sources told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Foxconn complied, while Pegatron declined to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns."
- The issue is of particular relevance due to Donald Trump's numerous comments saying he'd try to force Apple into manufacturing its products in the U.S.
Thu, Nov. 17, 1:15 PM
- Apple's (AAPL -0.2%) current fee structure involves a 30% take from revenue directly generated through an app on the App Store. Adjustment to these terms, however, was made earlier in the year allowing certain developers to pay half of that on completed year-term subscriptions. A similar 15% fee is now reported to apply uniformly to all video service offerings, given they fully integrate with Apple's new TV app, regardless of subscription timeframes.
- With the company plotting a greater push into TV, and competition in the video and streaming space tight, striking an attractive balance with these partners comprises one of many necessary moves required to bring Apple's TV aspirations in line with peers and current services, and to undoubtedly what it hopes, levels above.