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Wed, Feb. 3, 4:49 PM
- A Texas jury has reportedly awarded VirnetX (NYSEMKT:VHC) $544.7M in an infringement suit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Apple is reportedly ruled to have willfully infringed all asserted claims.
- VirnetX, crushed in 2014 after an appeals court ruled against the company in a case against Apple, has soared to $8.29 after hours. Shares rose 29.8% in regular trading ahead of the news.
- Last month: VirnetX soars after new Apple suit ruling
- Update (5:17PM ET): Markman Advisors has adjusted its reported damages figure to $625M+. Bloomberg reports a figure of $625.6M.
Mon, Feb. 1, 11:04 AM| Mon, Feb. 1, 11:04 AM | 66 Comments
Fri, Jan. 29, 8:22 AM
- Energous (NASDAQ:WATT) has risen to $4.98 premarket following an overnight Bloomberg report stating Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is "working with partners in the U.S. and Asia" to develop over-the-air wireless charging technology that could be deployed on its hardware as soon as next year.
- Energous' name isn't mentioned in the report. However, Bloomberg's description of the technology Apple is working on bears some resemblance to Energous' WattUp; it should be noted others have also been working on OTA wireless charging.
- For its part, Energous has said it has a deal with an unnamed tier-1 licensee, and that it aims to "release products to the consumer through our licensing partnerships in late 2016, early 2017." There has been some speculation among bulls the tier-1 licensee is Apple.
- Update (9:46AM ET): Energous is now up 24%.
Wed, Jan. 27, 12:40 PM
- Down just moderately after hours in the wake of its mixed FQ1 results and soft FQ2 guidance - some bad news was priced in following chip supplier warnings and iPhone order cut reports - Apple (AAPL -4.5%) is seeing steeper losses today. Several chip suppliers are also off.
- Not surprisingly, many on the Street are nervous about earnings call remarks regarding macro pressures in general, and Chinese pressures in particular. However, bulls are also taking heart in Apple's efforts to highlight services growth - reported FQ1 services revenue rose 26% Y/Y to $6.1B, and Apple asserts its installed base drove nearly $9B in related purchases (+24% Y/Y). With revenue guided to drop 9%-14% Y/Y in FQ2, future iPhone growth is also the subject of much debate.
- Macquarie's Ben Schachter (Outperform, $117 target): "The company rang the alarm bells loud and clear on macro weakness ... Cook put something of a line in the sand in implying that the March qtr would be the trough for iPhone unit growth ... the new disclosures confirm our thesis that the % of profit contribution from Services is almost 2x its % of revs, i.e., Services should contribute almost 20% of profits in FY’16 despite representing only about 10% of revs."
- Deutsche's Sherri Scribner (Hold, $105 target): "We remain concerned about the lack of growth in iPhone units this year, the slowdown in China sales, and gross margin pressure from FX as we move through the year ... With AAPL becoming a recurring revenue story, we expect the valuation to rerate in line with other mature, services-type companies."
- Susquehanna's Chris Caso (Positive, $140 target): "We think the question about whether iPhone can grow was, however, a more relevant argument when the stock was higher. With the stock at its current level (AAPL’s free cash flow yield is now in excess of 10%), we think the more relevant question now is whether iPhone can continue to generate cash at similar levels over a reasonable investment horizon ... Nonetheless, what’s ultimately needed for AAPL to be viewed as a growth stock once again is for them to once again simply invent something new that will have the impact of the iPod, iPhone or iPad." (ed: could an electric car do the job?)
- Other opinions: 1) Jan Dawson still sees plenty of room to cross-sell new products/services to a base of 1B+ active users. 2) VentureBeat's Chris O'Brien thinks more transparency is needed on Apple Watch/Apple TV sales and services revenue (among other things). 3) 9to5 Mac's Ben Lovejoy argues it's time for Apple might need to rethink iPhone pricing in light of macro/forex pressures and competition.
- On SA, Bill Maurer notes Apple disclosed 60% of iPhone owners haven't upgraded to an iPhone 6/6+ or 6S/6S+, and that a rumored new 4" iPhone could appeal to some of them. Paulo Santos, on the other hand, is skeptical a new 4" iPhone will provide a big lift, and considers FQ1's 25% Y/Y iPad unit drop "more serious than it looks."
- Prior Apple coverage
Wed, Jan. 27, 8:18 AM
- Though expectations were low following warnings from Cirrus Logic, Qorvo, Analog Devices, and others, iPhone/iPad suppliers are down after Apple missed FQ1 (calendar Q4) revenue estimates (while beating on EPS), and offered soft FQ2 guidance - revenue of $50B-$53B vs. a $55.6B consensus and year-ago sales of $58B.
- FQ1 iPhone sales of 74.8M were close to Street expectations, but iPad and Mac shipments (16.1M and 5.3M, respectively) were below. On its earnings call, Apple mentioned forex swings and Chinese macro pressures are weighing on sales.
- Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS), which reports this afternoon, is down 2% premarket. Qorvo (QRVO - reports Feb. 4) -2.7%, Skyworks (SWKS - reports tomorrow) -2%, Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI) -3%. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) itself is down 3.7%. Nasdaq futures are off 0.7%.
Fri, Jan. 22, 6:51 PM
- The veteran in charge of the electric-car project at Apple (AAPL +5.3%) is leaving the company for personal reasons, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
- Former Ford Motor engineer Steve Zadesky has overseen the project for Apple for the past two years but has told people he's leaving. The move is unrelated to his performance, sources say, and the timing isn't clear.
- The project -- formerly just rumored, but eventually code-named "Titan" and given a 2019 ship date -- has run into problems, sources said. The company has pressed the team (already up to 600 employees by September) toward ambitious deadlines, though some on the team felt the targets weren't attainable.
- After hours: AAPL +0.4%.
Tue, Jan. 19, 9:46 AM
- Though believing the stock could still ultimately go to zero, BTIG's Rich Greenfield has upgraded Pandora (P +0.6%) to Neutral on a belief the risk/reward for staying bearish is no longer as compelling following a selloff that has the Web radio leader's shares to the single digits.
- Greenfield, bearish for a long time, is still fairly pessimistic: "Our core thesis has not changed. We simply do not believe Pandora can ever generate meaningful earnings to justify its valuation. There are no barriers to entry in online music with competition continuing to build ... Pandora [also] faces an increasing wave of competition for mobile advertising dollars from a wide array of companies with far superior data/analytics (Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.)."
- Separately, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced it's discontinuing the free/ad-supported version of iTunes Radio starting Jan. 28. The Beats 1 station will be Apple's only free Web radio service going forward. Ad-free radio streams will still be provided via the Apple Music subscription service; Apple didn't state whether the iTunes Match service will continue supporting ad-free iTunes Radio.
- The news comes ahead of Pandora's Feb. 11 Q4 report. Shares jumped last month after the CRB announced better-than-feared recording royalty rates for 2016-2020, but gave back their gains and then some as markets tumbled.
- After opening sharply higher, Pandora has quickly pared its gains. The Nasdaq is up 1%.
- Two weeks ago: Canaccord believes Pandora's listener hours tracking with estimates
- Three weeks ago: SunTrust downgrades Pandora, cites CRB ruling and spending concerns
Thu, Jan. 7, 4:14 PM
- Qorvo (NASDAQ:QRVO) now expects FQ3 revenue of $620M, well below prior guidance of $720M-$730M and a $723.7M consensus. The RF chipmaker blames "weaker than forecasted customer demand in the Company's Mobile Products segment."
- Revenue is expected to be flat Q/Q in FQ4. Consensus is at $641.9M. "Above-market revenue growth" is forecast for calendar 2016. FQ3 results are due on Feb. 4.
- Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) now expects FQ3 revenue of $347M, below prior guidance of $370M-$400M and a $386M consensus. Cirrus: "Our preliminary revenue results reflect weaker than anticipated demand for certain portable audio products. This weakness escalated over the last few weeks of December and is expected to continue to significantly impact our revenue in the March quarter."
- The audio codec developer still expects "meaningful" FY16 (ends March '16) revenue growth, and expects several new product launches to drive strong FY17 growth. FQ3 results arrive on Jan. 27.
- Both Qorvo and Cirrus are iPhone suppliers, with Cirrus getting well over half its revenue from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The warnings follow multiple reports indicating Apple has cut iPhone-related orders. Cirrus has dropped to $24.52 after hours.
- Update (5:14PM ET): Qorvo is down 10.2% after resuming trading. Many other Apple suppliers are also lower.
Tue, Jan. 5, 12:32 PM
- Citing several parts suppliers, Japan's Nikkei reports Apple (AAPL -2.1%) is "expected to reduce output of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus by around 30% in the January-March quarter compared with its original plans."
- The paper adds Apple initially told component suppliers to keep production even with that seen for the iPhone 6/6+ a year ago, but has seen 6S/6S+ inventories pile up "at retailers in markets ranging from China and Japan to Europe and the U.S."
- In December, Apple sold off after long-time bull Morgan Stanley forecast (in response to checks) iPhone unit sales will drop 6% in FY16 (ends in September), and added to its losses after Dialog Semi (gets over half its sales from Apple) issued a Q4 warning. In November, Credit Suisse reported of component order cuts.
- Apple is trading near $103 following the Nikkei's report. Suppliers Cirrus Logic (CRUS -4.6%), Skyworks (SWKS -5.2%), Qorvo (QRVO -4.8%), Avago (AVGO -1.9%), and InvenSense (INVN -2.7%) are also under pressure.
- Update: Morgan Stanley reacts to the Nikkei's report by noting a 30% production cut is more than the ~20% it was modeling. (source: Notable Calls)
Dec. 30, 2015, 10:02 AM
- Korea's Electronic Times reports Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and LG Display (LPL -0.6%) are close to final deals with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to supply OLED displays for iPhones.
- It adds the companies plan to spend a combined KRW15T ($12.8B) in capex over the next 2-3 years to expand their OLED capacity, and that (in-line with past deals with suppliers) Apple will likely provide some funding to help the companies with their investments. Samsung will likely get bigger order volumes than LG.
- The report follows one from Japan's Nikkei a month ago stating Apple will launch iPhones featuring OLEDs in 2018, and that the company will work with suppliers "over the next year or so" to see if it can obtain enough displays and eliminate technical issues such as performance degradation.
- OLED IP/materials supplier Universal Display (OLED +5.1%) is rallying once more, after having previously done so on the Nikkei report. Shares are within $3 of a 52-week high of $57.93, and up 99% YTD.
Dec. 15, 2015, 10:49 AM
- TheStreetSweeper, no stranger to providing downbeat commentary on Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED), argues today the company's "fundamental" OLED patent is due to expire in 2017, with other patents set to expire in the following years. Universal has filed for dozens of patents since the '90s at the USPTO and other patent agencies.
- TheStreetSweeper also notes Universal's 2011 OLED material supply deal with Samsung expires in 2017 - Samsung has been buying from both Universal and subsidiary Cheil Industries - that Samsung has considerable OLED IP of its own, and that the SEC launched a 2014 inquiry into Universal's revenue recognition practices.
- The firm, meanwhile, is skeptical of recent reports Apple is planning to use OLEDs in future iPhones, and highlights a JPMorgan report suggesting Apple is more likely to use OLEDs in niche products. Bloomberg just reported (in a story about a Taiwanese Apple display R&D facility) Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is "keen to move to [OLEDs]," while continuing to develop more advanced LCDs.
- Universal has sold off on a morning the Nasdaq is up 1.1%.
Dec. 15, 2015, 8:17 AM
- Dialog Semiconductor (OTC:DLGNF) is lower by 6.8% in European action after cutting its Q4 revenue outlook to $390M-$400M vs. the previous $430M-$460M.
- Even with the market getting incrementally cautious on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) volumes, says Barclays (h/t Notable Calls), this warning is worse and earlier than any have so far forecast. Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS) and Avago (NASDAQ:AVGO) could be next.
- Deutsche weighs in as well, saying the warning confirms fears about iPhone 6S sell-through. Even lowered Street estimates for Q1 could prove optimistic.
- AAPL -1.1%, SWKS -1.9%, AVGO -1.1% premarket
Dec. 14, 2015, 1:06 PM
- Apple suppliers Skyworks (SWKS -5.3%), Qorvo (QRVO -6.2%), and InvenSense (INVN -4.4%) are off sharply after Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty (a long-time Apple bull) forecast iPhone unit sales will drop 3% in calendar 2016 (and 6% in FY16, which ends in September) in response to recent checks. She also respectively cut her calendar Q4 and Q1 iPhone shipment forecasts by 5M and 9M to 74M and 52M. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) itself is down 1.6%.
- Huberty blames smartphone saturation in developed markets and (presumably due to forex) higher iPhone prices in emerging markets. Her remarks come amid news Apple has cut the price of the iPhone 5S by 43% in India to Rs 24,999 ($370). The company may be looking to clear inventory ahead of the launch of a 4" iPhone 6C.
- Other suppliers such as Qualcomm, Cirrus Logic, Avago, NXP, and Synaptics are seeing more moderate declines; the Nasdaq is nearly flat. iPhone suppliers also sold off last month after Credit Suisse reported of iPhone component order cuts.
Dec. 14, 2015, 8:19 AM
- In what would be a first-ever negative print, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty sees calendar year iPhone sales declining by about 3% in 2016. Noting weak smartphone supply chain data points, she's cutting her 2016 iPhone units estimate by 12% and EPS estimate by 6%.
- It was only about two months ago when Huberty boosted her estimate of iPhone sales growth next year to 7% from 3%.
- Huberty still rates Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) an Overweight, but she trims the price target by $9 to $143.
- Shares -1.7% to $111.26 premarket.
Dec. 10, 2015, 10:23 AM
- "We believe an acquisition of GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) would make sense for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL); action cameras are uniquely positioned at the intersection of Apple’s smartphone, wearables, and multimedia offerings," writes FBR's Daniel Ives in a note about potential Apple buyout targets.
- Ives: "Additionally, GoPro’s new product cycles could open the door to areas where Apple’s competitors are investing heavily (e.g., drones, VR), and Cupertino has been playing catch-up. We also see strategic value in GoPro being integrated with Apple’s strong multimedia ecosystem (e.g., iTunes, Apple TV, etc.)."
- Media/ad software giant Adobe (ADBE - $44.4B market cap), enterprise cloud storage/file-sharing leader Box (BOX - $1.6B market cap), and EV/battery maker Tesla (TSLA - $30B market cap) are also named as potential Apple targets. "Box would give Apple an avenue into enterprise storage and enable it to expand its product tentacles (hardware/storage) into the enterprise cloud frontier ... Adobe would provide a nice pipeline into the enterprise ... Adobe’s Document Cloud/Marketing Cloud applications are helping enterprises grapple with the growth of digital marketing, proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise, and IOT."
- The GoPro remarks come with the action camera leader down 82% from its Oct. 2014 high of $98.47, and sporting a $2.4B market cap. In other news, GoPro announced today it has added Apple Watch support for its iOS app.
- Recent GoPro coverage
- Update (11:48AM ET): GoPro is now up 8.9%. Also announced today: GoPro states its drone (due in 1H16) will be known as Karma. A teaser video has been released.
- Update 2 (2:30PM ET): GoPro is now up 14%. Given a short interest of 31.2M shares (47% of the float) as of Nov. 30, short-covering is likely playing an important role.
Nov. 25, 2015, 3:09 PM
- Japan's Nikkei reports Apple (AAPL -0.5%) will launch iPhones sporting OLED displays starting in 2018. To date, the company has exclusively used LCDs for its retina displays.
- The paper adds securing enough OLEDs to meet Apple's needs (the company sells over 200M iPhones/year) could be difficult, and that Apple will "work over the next year or so" with suppliers to see if it can obtain enough displays and eliminate technical drawbacks such as performance degradation.
- iPhone LCD supplier LG Display (LPL +6.9%), which has already unveiled plans to invest ~$8.5B in OLED manufacturing through 2018, is said to be "planning capacity upgrades." OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED +5.2%) have caught a bid on the Nikkei's report; LPL was already higher on the day.
- OLEDs have long been a staple on Samsung's Galaxy S and Note lines. Supporters of the technology praise its high contrast/deep blacks and potential thickness and power consumption advantages. Apple, however, has argued its LCDs provide superior color accuracy.
- There have long been rumors Apple is thinking of adopting OLEDs. The company recently filed a patent application for an integrated OLED display and touch panel, with a fingerprint reader located underneath.
- Earlier: Apple buys Star Wars motion capture tech developer Faceshift
- Five months ago: Apple reportedly working on iPhone design that eliminates home button
Apple Inc designs, manufactures, & markets mobile communication & media devices, personal computers, & portable digital music players, & sells a variety of related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, & third-party digital content.
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