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Apple Inc. (AAPL)

  • Thu, Nov. 19, 12:36 PM
    • Universal Display (OLED +9.6%) is up 17% over the last two days. Possibly helping: The USPTO has published a patent application from Apple (has long been the subject of rumors it's testing/thinking of using OLEDs) for an integrated OLED display and touch panel, with a fingerprint reader underneath.
    • In the application, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) states integrating an OLED stack and touch sensors on a silicon substrate "can allow for an extremely high number of pixels per inch," and that arranging OLED sub-pixels side-by-side with touch sensors "can also lead to a wider viewing angle display with a higher contrast ratio, higher brightness, and more vibrant colors without compromising touch sensitivity."
    • Also: Reuters has published an article highlighting LG's recent OLED TV price cuts, made possible by recent production improvements and plant investments. Two sets now sell for less than $2K. LG Display (LPL +3.2%) recently promised to invest at least KRW10T ($8.5B) in OLED manufacturing through 2018.
    • Universal jumped two weeks ago after beating Q3 estimates and narrowing its full-year guidance. Shares are at their highest levels since August.
    • Update: Also of note: Korea's Digital Times reports LG Display plans to invest (perhaps using the funds previously allocated for OLED expansion) up to $4.2B to build a new OLED plant in Paju, South Koirea. The plant is expected to go into production in the 2017-2018 timeframe.
    | Thu, Nov. 19, 12:36 PM | 10 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 18, 7:41 AM
    • The market is set to shift focus from hardware growth to installed base monetization and recurring revenue, says analyst Simona Jankowski, upgrading Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to Conviction Buy with $163 price target (43% above yesterday's close).
    • The company has a significant opportunity over the next few years to increase the monetization potential from its 500M iPhone user base, she says, also noting the stock is trading at a 30% discount to the S&P 500 multiple.
    • Shares +1.6% premarket to $115.45.
    | Wed, Nov. 18, 7:41 AM | 147 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 11, 3:54 PM
    • The WSJ reports Apple (AAPL -0.4%) is talking with JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and other banks about launching a P2P mobile payments service that would be linked with Apple Pay, and compete with PayPal's (PYPL -1.4%) Venmo service. Users would be able to "zap payments from their checking accounts to recipients through their Apple devices." A 2016 launch is reportedly possible.
    • Any revenue collected by Apple from the service would likely be tiny for a company of its size - Apple reportedly gets $0.15 for every $100 of credit transactions done via Apple Pay, and half a cent on Apple Pay debit transactions. The primary goal, rather, would be to provide another service that helps keep users loyal to Apple's ecosystem.
    • PayPal has fallen moderately in response. The lion's share of the company's transaction volume comes from merchant payments (where Apple, Amazon, and others already compete) rather than P2P. Facebook and Google have dabbled in P2P payments via services attached to Messenger and Gmail/Google Wallet.
    • Separately, iPad Pro reviews have arrived. The 12.9" tablet's display (2732x2048 resolution), multitasking features, and Apple Pencil stylus get high remarks, but many reviewers question whether the device can act as a fully-fledged laptop replacement. Reviews: Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, Wired, The Verge, TechCrunch, WSJ.
    | Wed, Nov. 11, 3:54 PM | 44 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 10, 8:24 AM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has cut component orders by as much as 10% of late, according to the Credit Suisse Asia Technology Team. "In our view, the continued weak supply chain news could weigh on Apple shares for the next few weeks/quarters," says analyst Kulbinder Garcha.
    • Apple remains an Outperform with $140 price target at CS, with the team noting high retention rates, continued installed base growth, and the optionality of a smaller 4-inch iPhone.
    • Shares -1.9% to $118.25 premarket
    | Tue, Nov. 10, 8:24 AM | 153 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 3, 4:00 PM
    • On Nov. 23, GT Advanced (OTCPK:GTATQ) will auction sapphire furnaces it purchased with the help of loans from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and divide the proceeds. Anything not sold will be handed to Apple, which will scrap the equipment. GT intends to keep as many as 600 furnaces.
    • The agreement, which still needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge, extinguishes Apple's $439M claim against GT. GT had previously agreed to sell off ~2,000 sapphire furnaces to pay down the claim, but hasn't yet been able to sell any of them. The company has been facing a Dec. 31 deadline to get the furnaces out of Apple's Mesa, AZ facility, which is in the process of being converted into a data center command center.
    • GT, 13 months removed from filing for Chap. 11, obtained $95M in debtor-in-possession financing in July. Major job cuts were and a CEO change were announced in August. Shares have risen to $0.32 on the pink sheets.
    | Tue, Nov. 3, 4:00 PM | 17 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 28, 10:11 AM
    • After finishing after hours trading nearly flat in the wake of its FQ4 beat and in-line FQ1 guidance, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is higher in morning trading. Possibly helping out: Pac Crest's Andy Hargreaves, who downgraded last year shortly following the iPhone 6 launch, has upgraded to Overweight and set a $142 target.
    • Hargreaves: "Expectations for the 6S cycle have fallen and we see March as the low point for growth ... We see Apple as a sustained share gainer in [smartphones] with pricing that is likely to remain protected by Apple’s brand, ecosystem and the extraordinary utility of the iPhone." He now expects 75.9M FQ1 iPhone sales, up slightly from 74.5M a year earlier.
    • FBR's Daniel Ives (Outperform, $175 target): "Apple investors were bracing for the worst and hoping for the best, and they ultimately received a B+ quarter/guide that was better than feared ... With Cook & Co. forecasting year-over-year iPhone unit growth off Herculean comps in the December quarter with China remaining white hot, we believe last night was a major step in turning the positive tide around the Apple story."
    • BTIG's Walter Piecyk (Buy, $160 target): "Tim Cook also indicated that iPhone units would grow, which should be welcome news to investors after recent soft commentary from US wireless operators about upgrade rates ... we continue to expect Apple to generate $10 in EPS in Fiscal 2016, reflecting 8% EPS growth, thanks to the continued aggressive share repurchase."
    • Mizuho's Abhey Lamba (Neutral, $125 target): "While [iPhone] shipments were relatively inline, ASP of $670 was significantly better than consensus of $649 resulting in a meaningful upside to the segment’s revenue. iPads in the meantime continue to decline with the quarter’s unit and revenue drop being ~20% Y/Y. While management does not disclose Watch sales, they were likely in the 3.0-3.5 million units range vs consensus of 3.75 million units."
    • Prior Apple coverage, earnings call transcript
    | Wed, Oct. 28, 10:11 AM | 29 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 26, 10:28 AM
    • Dialog Semiconductor (OTC:DLGNF), which supplies power management chips for the iPhone/iPad and counts Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as its largest customer, is down 18.4% in Frankfurt after posting Q3 results.
    • Dialog's Q3 revenue rose 18% Y/Y in Q3 to $330M, after having risen 44% in Q2 thanks to strong iPhone 6-related demand. The company forecasts Q4 revenue of $430M-$460M, a range that implies Y/Y growth of -1% to +6%.
    • Apple is selling off ahead of tomorrow afternoon's FQ4 report, as are various chip suppliers. The Nasdaq is down 0.2%. Shares +6% YTD and trading for 11.8x an FY16 (ends Sep. '16) EPS consensus of $9.80.
    • Update: RBC's Amit Daryanani (Outperform rating, $150 target on Apple) observes Dialog's Q3 revenue missed a $354M consensus, and that its Q4 guidance is below a $475M consensus. He thinks the numbers are negative for Apple "given our discussions with [Dialog] management, which suggest ASPs are up ~4-5% (implying AAPL units being flat to down 2% in Dec-qtr)." He qualifies the remarks by noting inventory and supply chain dynamics can affect the relationship between Dialog's sales to Apple and Apple's own sales.
    | Mon, Oct. 26, 10:28 AM | 87 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 23, 6:47 PM
    • Apple (AAPL +3.1%) is nearing the release of its Android app for Apple Music, judging from a German mobile site that has gotten hold of screenshots and says some users are in private beta.
    • It would mark just the second time the company officially released an Android app -- and the other one was a tool to migrate data to iOS devices from Android devices.
    • The company had said in its June launch that an Android app for Apple Music would be coming at some point this fall.
    • On Tuesday, Apple chief Tim Cook said Apple Music had 15M users, 6.5M of which were paying subscribers.
    • Android's user base has reached 1.4B active users, according to Google chief Sundar Pichai.
    | Fri, Oct. 23, 6:47 PM | 77 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 14, 9:18 AM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) "Customer response to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world. We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale September 25."
    • Reuters states 4.5M pre-orders are expected by analysts this year, up from 4M last year. The pre-order period lasts longer this year (Sep. 12-24) than last year (Sep. 12-18).
    • iPhone sales growth rates have been expected to slow considerably following the 6S/6S+ launch, given the iPhone 6/6+ benefited from a strong upgrade cycle fueled by pent-up demand for larger iPhones. Apple's iPhone revenue was up 59% Y/Y in calendar Q2 to $31.4B, and made up 63% of total revenue.
    • The iPhone Inventory Tracker blog shows 3-4 week lead times for iPhone 6S+ models worldwide. Most iPhone 6S models are still set to ship on Sep. 25 in the U.S, but have 2-3 week lead times in China.
    • Shares have risen to $117.14 premarket. Nasdaq futures are nearly flat.
    • Last week: Apple unveils iPhone 6S/6S+ with 3D Touch sensors, A9 CPU, improved cameras
    • Update (12:32PM ET): Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi offers a mixed reaction to Apple's remarks. "On one hand, first weekend sales that will be higher than last year’s is clearly a positive, given how strong the iPhone 6 cycle was ... However, Apple did not provide this figure today, raising the question of whether it *might* be lower than last year’s total of 4M. Additionally, the iPhone this year is available for pre-order and for delivery on day 1 in China, and based on lead times, demand for the 6S appears very strong in China."  Apple is now up 0.8%. The Nasdaq is down 0.5%.
    | Mon, Sep. 14, 9:18 AM | 100 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 27, 12:39 PM
    • "Hey Siri, give us a hint," goes the invitation, suggesting the possibility of an update to Siri along with the expected launch of the iPhone 6S.
    • The location is at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco - a larger venue than past events.
    • AAPL +3% to $113.02
    | Thu, Aug. 27, 12:39 PM | 107 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 26, 4:21 PM
    • The Nasdaq has closed its latest ultra-volatile day up 4.2%. Chip stocks, hit hard in recent weeks amid China/inventory concerns, were among the standouts (SOXX +5%) during the rally: Big gainers included Nvidia (NVDA +7.5%), Skyworks (SWKS +6.9%), Qorvo (QRVO +5.9%), Xilinx (XLNX +6.3%), Analog Devices (ADI +7.1%), Linear (LLTC +6.1%), SanDisk (SNDK +7.4%), ON Semi (ON +6.2%), and Cavium (CAVM +5.6%).
    • Cybersecurity plays and various other enterprise tech names also did well. Standouts included HP (HPQ +5.5%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW +6%), Rackspace (RAX +9.8%), Red Hat (RHT +5.9%), KEYW (KEYW +8.1%), Brocade (BRCD +5.6%), ShoreTel (SHOR +5.7%), Violin Memory (VMEM +14.7%), and Rapid7 (RPD +7.2%).
    • In addition to HP, tech large-caps turning in big gains included Apple (AAPL +5.7%) Microsoft (MSFT +5.5%), Google (GOOG +7.7%), and Intel (INTC +5.5%). Google benefited from a Goldman upgrade.
    • KEYW announced a CEO change yesterday afternoon. HP and Brocade are adding to last week's post-earnings gains. Skyworks/Qorvo peer Avago has posted an FQ3 beat after the close.
    | Wed, Aug. 26, 4:21 PM | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 25, 9:14 AM
    • "While we note that our fundamental stance on Apple's challenges are unchanged, we believe shares have over-corrected," writes Wells Fargo's Maynard Um, upgrading to Outperform. His target range is $125-$135.
    • Um, who downgraded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) back in early 2014, adds Tim Cook's Monday e-mail to Jim Cramer regarding Chinese iPhone sales provides better calendar Q3 visibility. "We also note AAPL’s 3rd party manufacturing & component commitments ... suggest upside potential to its $49B-51B guidance. While our concern on tough compares for the Dec quarter are unchanged and our [estimates] remain below the Street, we believe the stock had been reflecting this challenge ... We believe the risk/reward at 8x our [free cash flow estimate] is tilted favorably with China strength appearing to have continued recently and the quarter having some visibility..."
    • With the help of higher equity markets - Nasdaq futures are up 3.7% - Apple has risen to $109.01 premarket. Shares fell as low as $92.00 yesterday morning before closing at $103.12.
    • Update (4:15PM ET): Apple gave back most of its gains as markets sold off this afternoon. Shares closed up 0.6%.
    | Tue, Aug. 25, 9:14 AM | 46 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 24, 9:01 AM
    • Amid a rout in China Monday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 5.8% to slip below $100/share in premarket trading, quoting at its lowest point in 10 months.
    • Last week, the company lost 8.8% as well, with some observers pointing to Chinese market uncertainty.
    • The company's confirmed it's replacing a glitchy camera on a "small percentage" of iPhone 6 Plus devices that results in blurry photos.
    • Shares in Apple have slid 17% since it was added to the Dow earlier this year.
    • Update: In an e-mail to Jim Cramer, Tim Cook states Apple "continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August," and that iPhone activation growth "has actually accelerated over the past few weeks." Apple's Greater China revenue rose 112% Y/Y in calendar Q2, and accounted for 27% of its revenue.
    • Update 2 (11:51AM ET): Apple has rebounded as equity markets have pared their big early-morning losses: Shares are now up 0.8%.
    • Update 3: Apple joined the Nasdaq in reversing course again this afternoon. Shares closed down 2.5%. 161.4M were traded, over 3x a 3-month daily average of 50.4M.
    | Mon, Aug. 24, 9:01 AM | 95 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 24, 8:03 AM
    | Mon, Aug. 24, 8:03 AM | 45 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 21, 4:14 PM
    • The major averages all plunged another 3%-plus to close the week.
    • The Dow (NYSEARCA:DIAlost 5.8% for the week - it's worst weekly stretch since September 2011 when the European debt crisis was at its peak and the U.S. had just been downgraded. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPYfell 5.5% - also its worst week since Sept. 2011. The Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQfell 6.7%, its worst week since Aug. 2011.
    • The Dow is lower by 7.6% YTD, the S&P 500 3.75%, and the Nasdaq 0.55%.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield slipped three basis points to 2.04%, its lowest print since before the summer, and oil briefly fell below $40 per barrel (it's back to $40.34 at pixel time).
    • Apple's (AAPL -6.1%) decline today put that stock 20% below its level of just one month ago, and the shares are in the red for the year to the tune of 4.2%. On a year-over-year basis, they're higher by 7.95%.
    | Fri, Aug. 21, 4:14 PM | 221 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 11, 2:40 PM
    • After rallying strongly yesterday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has more than given back its gains today amid a 1.7% drop for the Nasdaq. 70.7M shares have been traded, well above a 3-month daily average of 46.9M.
    • Jefferies' Sundeep Bajikar has cut his target by $5 to $130 (still over $16 above current levels), while reiterating a Hold. "Our checks on the ground in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo suggest iPhone is enjoying robust consumer demand. However, given stock market worries (since late-June) in China, we would not be surprised if Apple was taking a more cautious view of end demand, and cutting iPhone-related orders in the supply chain. Our checks also continue to suggest that iPhone is facing strong competition in China, primarily from Huawei, Xiaomi, and Samsung." Apple's Greater China revenue was up 112% Y/Y in FQ3 (calendar Q2), and made up 27% of total revenue.
    • The note comes shortly after the PBOC devalued the yuan, leading it to drop 2% against the dollar. Beijing's move could spell both slightly higher local prices (on a yuan basis) for Apple products, and slightly lower manufacturing costs (on a dollar basis).
    • Separately, Bluefin Research reports checks point to an approximate 10-day delay for the start of iPhone 6S production. "While we cannot decipher the exact reason for the delay, this has resulted in a reduction of projected iPhone builds for 2H:15. Previous build plans were centered around 130M total iPhone builds (not shipments) and these have recently been reduced by just over 6% to approximately 122M." KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo has also reported seeing a brief delay.
    | Tue, Aug. 11, 2:40 PM | 136 Comments
Company Description
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.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States