Sep. 22, 2014, 7:24 PM
- Re/code: "Based on conversations with people familiar with Apple’s (AAPL +0.1%) thinking: Apple won’t shutter the [Beats Music] streaming service. It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand."
- Re/code's report follows one from TechCrunch stating Apple is planning to shut down Beats Music and "sunset the Beats Music brand." Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr says TechCrunch's report is "not true," but doesn't elaborate.
- Gene Munster estimates ~8M of the 10M+ iPhone 6 units Apple sold over the weekend wound up being purchased by consumers, with the remaining ~2M going into the channel. That implies 45% consumer sell-through growth over estimated first-weekend iPhone 5S sales of 5.5M.
- Patently Apple notes Apple has filed a patent application for a new sapphire glass-strengthening process. The application relates to the use of coatings on a material such as sapphire.
- GT Advanced (GTAT +1%), whose shares were hit hard by news that the iPhone 6 (unlike the Apple Watch) doesn't use sapphire cover glass, closed higher today. Last week, Time took a look at the technology challenges that may have led Apple to opt against using sapphire cover glass for the iPhone 6.
Sep. 10, 2014, 12:47 PM
Sep. 10, 2014, 9:15 AM
Sep. 10, 2014, 7:18 AM
- Apple's not including sapphire display technology in either of the new iPhone 6 models, but having it for the Watch "is disappointing from both a timing and volume perspective for GTAT," says Goldman analyst Brian Lee, downgrading the stock to a Neutral, with price target cut to $14 from $20.
- Removing 20M iPhone units from his model and replacing with 10M watches brings estimated 2014 revenues down to $497M from $634M, and EPS to $0.09 from $0.12.
- Piper Jaffray downgrades to Neutral, with price target cut to $16 from $23.
- Shares -10.9% premarket after yesterday's 12.9% slide.
- Previously: Apple event kicked off, iPhone 6 introduced
Sep. 9, 2014, 1:23 PM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fires off its product event in Cupertino with an introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus right off the bat.
- The curved iPhone 6 will be sized at 4.7-inches, while the larger version comes in at 5.5-inches (phablet territory) as expected.
- The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus feature next-gen retina displays and are thin at 6.8mm and 7.1mm, respectively.
- A new A8 chip will load graphics 50% faster.
- No mention of sapphire glass which has GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT -6.2%) tumbling.
- Shares of AAPL +1.0% to $99.12 after bouncing around the $100 mark prior to the event.
- Apple webcast, Engadget live blog
Sep. 3, 2014, 12:16 PM
- Apple suppliers Cirrus Logic (CRUS -3%), GT Advanced (GTAT -5%), Skyworks (SWKS -2.3%), TriQuint (TQNT -2.6%), and RF Micro (RFMD -2.8%) are following Apple lower after Pac Crest recommended investors start taking profits on the tech giant ahead of its Sep. 9 event. Expected iPhone 6 motion sensor supplier InvenSense (INVN -3.3%) is also off.
- GT was hit recently by two downgrades, partly offset by a bullish coverage launch. InvenSense, Skyworks, TriQuint, and RF Micro have all rallied strongly over the last 3 months.
Aug. 28, 2014, 9:22 AM
- Raymond James' Pavel Molchanov: "We are downgrading GT from Market Perform to Underperform, following the stock's exceptionally strong YTD gain of 113%."
- Molchanov's view on GT Advanced's (NASDAQ:GTAT) Apple partnership and solar opportunities hasn't changed, but he also has "a hard time seeing incremental news-flow that would support much upside in the stock," and considers its valuation "quite pricey," even when based on 2016 estimates.
- GT currently trades at 2.2x 2015E sales. CLSA cut shares to Underperform last week. Piper launched coverage at Overweight earlier this week.
Aug. 26, 2014, 9:26 AM
- Piper's Mike Ritzenthaler has launched coverage on GT Advanced (NASDAQ:GTAT) with an Overweight and $23 target.
- He expects shares will "likely react sharply" to iPhone 6-related newsflow, in spite of rumors that only 64GB models will have sapphire cover glass. "We believe that Mesa process yields (though perhaps currently suboptimal) are sufficient to cover the initial production of the iPhone 6, and poised to improve over the next 6-9 months."
- Ritzenthaler also thinks GT could be begin recognizing revenue from its Merlin platform as soon as Q4, from HiCz in Q1 2015, and from Hyperion and HVPE/PVD in 2H15. In the meantime, GT is expected to work through the "sizable backlog" of sapphire furnace orders it has accumulated.
- The launch comes a week after CLSA downgraded shares to Underperform, while citing sapphire production yields and margins.
Aug. 20, 2014, 1:27 PM
- Following a CC with compound semi consulting firm Yole Development about GT Advanced's (GTAT -2.4%) supply deal with Apple, CLSA's Mark Heller reports Yole believes at least one iPhone featuring sapphire cover glass will launch next month. However, it also thinks GT and Apple's sapphire finishing suppliers "are still struggling with yields."
- Yole estimates Apple's all-in sapphire cost is at a steep $25 for a 4.7" display, assuming a 30% growth yield and 60% finishing yield - that's over 8x the $3 cost estimate other analysts have provided for Gorilla Glass (GLW +1.5%) panels. GT is assigned an $8.90 ASP.
- At the same time, Yole thinks costs could drop to $16 if growth and finishing yields respectively improve to 60% and 75%, boosting GT's margins along the way.
- Heller writes Yole's base scenario suggests only 4.7M 4.7" sapphire displays, or 3M 5.5" displays, will be available by September. Worth noting: With Apple having reportedly placed orders for 70M-80M iPhone 6 units, those numbers appear conservative in the event at least one of the models fully uses sapphire.
- Corning is moving higher. The company stated last month Gorilla Glass sales have been hurt by "lower-than-expected sales for planned new models."
- Earlier: CLSA downgrades GT Advanced to Underperform
Aug. 20, 2014, 9:24 AM
- CLSA has downgraded GT Advanced (NASDAQ:GTAT) to Underperform from Outperform.
- The downgrade comes a month after CLSA lowered its estimates for GT, citing potentially low sapphire yields at the company's Mesa, AZ facility. It also arrives with shares up 111% YTD amid strong Apple-related hopes.
- Previous: GT Advanced gains on iPhone screen production report
Aug. 18, 2014, 11:18 AM
- The Guardian reports production of iPhone 6 (NASDAQ:AAPL) displays featuring sapphire cover glass are expected to "go into large-scale production this month," courtesy of GT Advanced's (NASDAQ:GTAT) Mesa, AZ facility.
- The paper adds both the 4.7" and 5.5" models will sport sapphire cover glass; reports have varied on whether both models will support it, or (due to production constraints) only the 5.5" model.
- The WSJ has reported Apple plans to protect iWatch displays with sapphire, and is thinking of doing the same for "more expensive" iPhone 6 models, if supply isn't an issue.
- Apple's iPhone 6 launch event is expected to take place on Sep. 9.
- Prior coverage on GT Advanced/Apple
Aug. 11, 2014, 12:05 PM
- GT Advanced (GTAT +3.7%) says its Merlin solar module metallization/interconnect tech has met the requirements of several industry standards, following tests to guarantee its long-term reliability.
- GT adds it's in "active discussions with select lead customers" to bring Merlin to market, and is on track for an early 2015 commercial launch. The company roughly estimates Merlin could be a $400M-$1B/year business by 2018, assuming a market penetration of 8%-20%.
- Merlin reduces the amount of silver needed to connect solar cells within a module (lowers costs and weight), and can improve cell efficiency and reliability along the way.
- GT claims Merlin can be easily supported by existing cell manufacturing lines, following a simple upgrade. Meyer Burger, JA Solar, and other firms have also been working on solutions that aim to lower silver use.
- Merlin is separate from GT's Hyperion tech, which (among other things) could be used to create thin, high-efficiency, solar cells for electronic devices.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:19 PM
- Though Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) beat Q2 estimates, it's guiding for Q3 revenue of $8M-$12M and EPS of -$0.39 to -$0.44, far below a consensus of $16.3M and -$0.27.
- The company says it's seeing "very little demand" in Q3 for 2" core sapphire wafers due to excess inventory among polishing clients. It also thinks "recent capacity additions in the sapphire market" related to mobile devices are "temporarily impacting" 2" demand. That's almost certainly a reference to GT Advanced (NASDAQ:GTAT) and its huge sapphire production efforts for Apple.
- 2" demand is expected to improve in Q4. Rubicon also says it's upbeat about initial qualification of its PSS wafers at 3 new clients.
- Q2 gross margin was -50.2% (a $7.3M gross loss on revenue of $14.5M). Rubicon notes 4" core wafer pricing rose 10% Q/Q amid strong LED market demand, but added "idle plant and development costs at our wafering facility continued to be a drag on earnings."
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 5, 2014, 2:27 PM
- "With rampant speculation around what Apple will or won’t release, we see a balanced risk reward given the information available," says Canaccord, reiterating a Hold on GT Advanced (GTAT +4.6%). Nonetheless, the firm still calls GT well-positioned to "benefit from a move to sapphire cover glass in the handset market, as well as a ramp in solar and some new technologies."
- Raymond James is now expecting GT's 2014 results to be even more sharply weighted towards Q4, and says its confidence in its estimates remains "subdued."
- UBS estimates 2014 sales to Apple will now be $150M below what the firm originally expected, and that full-year EPS will get a ~$0.26 boost from the backing out of $44M in costs related to GT's sapphire production ramp.
- Stifel is staying positive, declaring GT's guidance still implies "continued progress with Apple with increasingly material volumes."
- With Apple demanding strict secrecy from suppliers, management was predictably tight-lipped about its top client on the CC (transcript). CEO Tom Gutierrez: "I can’t speak to the volumes or the applications or the timing of Apple’s business."
- Gutierrez did admit there are "exclusivity provisions" related to the Apple deal, but added the provisions aren't all-encompassing. "There are applications that we can sell into, but I am not at liberty to provide a lot of detail..."
- A new report states Apple is holding a Sep. 9 iPhone launch event.
- Q2 results, guidance/details
Aug. 5, 2014, 12:45 PM
- Cautious overall on small caps (NYSEARCA:IWM) due to valuation concerns, Goldman's David Kostin nevertheless has a list of 25 names with market caps less than $4B which could offer at least 25% upside to his firm's price target over the next year.
- The list skews towards Consumer Discretionary - Lumber Lidquidators (LL +2.1%), Office Depot (ODP -2.4%), RetailMeNot (SALE -26.1%), Ryland (RYL +0.5%), Steven Madden (SHOO +2.7%), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI -8.2%) - and Tech - Universal Display (OLED -0.2%), Qlik Technologies (QLIK -1.6%), Proofpoint (PFPT -1.5%), Polycom (PLCM +0.2%), Nimble Storage (NMBL -0.3%), Marketo (MKTO +1.1%), Infinera (INFN +1.1%), Cornerstone Ondemand (CSOD -0.9%), GT Advanced Technology (GTAT +5.7%).
- Also included are Health Care names: Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO -1.1%), NPS Pharma (NPSP +0.7%), NuVasive (NUVA -1.8%), Synageva (GEVA -1.6%); Consumer Staples: Darling Ingredients (DAR -0.8%); Materials: Axiall (AXLL -1%), Boise Cascade (BCC -0.9%); Industrials: Granite Construction (GVA +0.7%), Financials: MGIC Investment (MTG +1.2%), Radian (RDN +1.7%).
Aug. 4, 2014, 5:35 PM
GT Advanced Technologies is a leading diversified technology company producing advanced materials and innovative crystal growth equipment for the global electronics, solar and LED industries. Our technical innovations accelerate the use of advanced materials, enabling a new generation of... More
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