at CNBC.com (Wed, 1:14AM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 6:25PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 4:23PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 2:31PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 7:56AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Tue, 6:53AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Tue, 6:53AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Mon, 4:28PM)
at CNBC.com (Mon, 4:15PM)
at CNBC.com (Mon, 1:41PM)
at CNBC.com (Mon, 12:04PM)
at MarketWatch.com (Mon, 12:03PM)
at MarketWatch.com (Mon, 12:02PM)
at Fox Business (Mon, 7:48AM)
at CNBC.com (Mon, 7:35AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Sun, 10:35AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Sun, 8:33AM)
at CNBC.com (Sat, 7:00AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Sat, 6:01AM)
at MarketWatch.com (Fri, 4:46PM)
at CNBC.com (Wed, 1:14AM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 6:25PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 4:23PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 2:31PM)
at CNBC.com (Tue, 7:56AM)
Apple Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (collectively “Apple” or the “Company”) design, manufacture, and market personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players and sell a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking... More
Tuesday, Dec 108:06 AMBAML: Apple/China Mobile hopes too high
Tuesday, Dec 108:06 AM| 35 Comments
- "Heightened expectations of significant incremental iPhone units from China Mobile (CHL) are unwarranted and investor/Street expectations are simply too high," says BAML reiterating Apple (AAPL) as a Hold and maintaining estimates for FQ14, but hiking the price target to $600 from $530 on belief the stock will trade at a higher multiple.
- Noting there are already 30M iPhone users on CM networks, the team sees incremental units of less than 10M vs. Street hopes of 20M-30M or more, and reminds the CM announcement hopes have the stock up 9% over the last two weeks vs. a flat S&P.
- Both stocks are down 0.4% premarket
Monday, Dec 99:36 AMChina Mobile indicates iPhone pre-orders to start; 5S supplies improve
Monday, Dec 99:36 AM| 16 Comments
- An ad on China Mobile's (CHL +0.5%) site suggests the world' biggest carrier will begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5S (AAPL +0.7%) on Thursday, as well as for 4G phones from Samsung and Sony. A company rep confirms 4G pre-orders will start on Thursday, and that services will launch on Dec. 18 (the day of CHL's 4G partner event).
- CHL had previously said it was still negotiating with Apple regarding iPhone sales. Analysts have estimated a deal could boost Apple's 2014 EPS by $2-$4 (or perhaps ~5-10%), as they balance CHL's enormous customer base and sales reach with its relatively low ARPUs and surging Chinese demand for cheaper/larger smartphones.
- Separately, Gene Munster reports U.S. iPhone 5S supply has finally caught up with demand: Checks at 60 U.S. Apple Stores found all of them were carrying each model of the device. Munster's late November survey had found 90% of SKUs in stock.
Monday, Dec 94:56 AMTech giants call on government to limit spying campaign
Monday, Dec 94:56 AM| 11 Comments
- Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) are among eight technology giants that have started a campaign to limit government online surveillance. The other companies are Apple (AAPL), Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), AOL (AOL) and LinkedIn (LNKD).
- The move appears to represent an attempt by the companies to prevent a loss of business because of Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's spying campaign. Forrester estimates that the disclosures could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry $180B by 2016.
- While the firms want limits on governmental authority to collect user information, as well as increased oversight, given the tech industry's own data practices, some might say that there's more than a whiff of the pots calling the kettles black.
Thursday, Dec 52:38 PMApple makes new 2013 highs; China Mobile says talks ongoing
Thursday, Dec 52:38 PM| 27 Comments
- Following the WSJ's report about a China Mobile (CHL -0.3%) deal, Apple (AAPL +0.9%) is up 27% from its mid-September low, and (after falling hard to start the year) up 7% YTD.
- The gains come even though China Mobile has responded to the WSJ's report by stating it's "still negotiating with Apple." The world's biggest carrier has long been rumored to be driving a hard bargain with Apple, which itself has plenty of experience on that front.
- As is their custom, analysts have been firing up their spreadsheets to estimate the impact of a China Mobile deal. Uber-bull Brian White thinks the deal could yield 20M-24M additional iPhone sales in 2014, boosting EPS by $4. Gene Munster is a little more cautious, forecasting 17M 2014 sales, as is Pac Crest's Andy Hargreaves, who sees only a $2 2014 EPS boost.
- Munster notes that while 16GB iPhone 5S and 5C respectively cost $846 and $718 unsubsidized in China, China Mobile has an estimated unsubsidized smartphone ASP of $270 (Verizon, by contrast, is at $449). The rising popularity of large-screen smartphones in China could also act as a headwind (at least until Apple launches one of its own).
Wednesday, Dec 410:26 PMApple, China Mobile sign iPhone deal: WSJ
Wednesday, Dec 410:26 PM| 68 Comments
- Apple (AAPL) and China Mobile (CHL) have finally inked an iPhone deal, WSJ reports.
- Apple will now have access to the carrier's 700M subscribers — that's "seven times the size" of Verizon's base, MarketWatch notes.
- Rollout is expected this month.
- See also: Chinese 4G licenses handed out, services to start soon
Wednesday, Dec 44:00 PMIcahn proposal reportedly calls for buyback of "at least" $50B
Wednesday, Dec 44:00 PM| 32 Comments
- David Faber reports Carl Icahn's Apple (AAPL -0.3%) buyback proposal calls for "at least" $50B in share repurchases in FY14 (ends Sep. '14).
- As a "precatory" proposal, the resolution won't be binding even if a majority of Apple shareholder votes are cast in favor of it.
- Meanwhile, Time has published an Icahn cover story that focuses on his Apple efforts. Icahn tells the magazine he filed his proposal on Nov. 26 (thus making it eligible to be voted on at next year's shareholder meeting), and that he remains a supporter of Tim Cook.
- Icahn: "A lot of people say Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have talked to me, and maybe that’s true ... But I think [Cook] found our conversation sort of interesting. He said, `Look, you’ve accomplished a lot, and we want to listen to you.’”
Wednesday, Dec 43:08 PMIcahn to make "precatory" proposal to call for Apple buyback vote
Wednesday, Dec 43:08 PM| 58 Comments
- Carl Icahn on (where else?) Twitter: "Gave [Apple] notice we’ll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level."
- Icahn, never scared to self-promote, also says he'll be on the cover of the next issue of Time (out tomorrow), which will feature a piece on investor activism.
- Apple (AAPL -0.5%) shares haven't moved much in response to Icahn's comments. Tim Cook has said Apple won't announce any changes to its capital allocation policy before early 2014. Icahn, meanwhile, has been pushing for a $150B expansion of Apple's buyback program, and has said he would "test the waters" regarding a proxy fight if the company ignored his calls.
Wednesday, Dec 412:20 PMTopsy seen improving iOS search; Twitter reportedly mulled acquisition
Wednesday, Dec 412:20 PM| 3 Comments
- As analysts and pundits mull Apple's (AAPL -0.6%) surprising purchase of Twitter analytics startup Topsy, plenty of attention has been given to Topsy's advanced search tools, which many consider to be better than Twitter's (TWTR +5%) on-site search capabilities.
- Azeem Azhar, the founder of fellow social analytics firm PeerIndex, thinks Topsy could end up acting as "the search layer for iOS," indexing both social media content and "the best bits of the Web that power Siri and Apple Maps." He points out doing so would reduce (but not eliminate) Apple's dependence on Google.
- TechCrunch, meanwhile, thinks Topsy's search tech and ability to gauge consumer sentiment could improve the quality of the App Store and iTunes' search and recommendation engines. And Gene Munster sees Topsy potentially improving Siri and Maps by integrating data related to current events and trending topics.
- Separately, AllThingsD reports Twitter, which is rallying today along with other Internet momentum names, considered buying Topsy on multiple occasions, out of interest in its search tools. But the microblogging giant ultimately held off, something sources think stems from Twitter's belief it could build some of Topsy's tools on its own.
Tuesday, Dec 310:04 AMChina Mobile subsidiary temporarily takes iPhone reservations
Tuesday, Dec 310:04 AM| 19 Comments
- Fortune reports the website of a China Mobile (CHL +0.3%) subsidiary for the city of Suzhou (located near Shanghai) began taking iPhone 5S (AAPL +1.6%) and 5C reservations last night, before halting its efforts today.
- The (premature?) reservation activity follows multiple reports indicating China Mobile, the world's largest carrier in terms of subscribers (750M+), will announce it will begin offering the iPhone at its Dec. 18 4G launch event.
- Kantar Worldpanel recently estimated the iPhone had a 15.5% smartphone share (-340 bps Y/Y) in "Urban China" for the August-October timeframe. That compares with a U.S. share of 40.8% (-640 bps), an EU5 share of 15.8% (-500 bps), and a Japanese share of 61.1% (no year-ago data).
Tuesday, Dec 35:35 AMLook for institutional buying in Apple - UBS
Tuesday, Dec 35:35 AM| 17 Comments
- UBS upgrades Apple (AAPL) to Buy from Neutral, bumps target to $650 from $540
- "While Apple's stock has improved, institutional ownership has not recovered. It peaked at about 73% in April 2012 and has fallen to under 64%. Our sense speaking with investors is that many are now equal or underweight Apple relative to their benchmark, which could result in new money supporting the stock. Apple fits the value description and with potential double-digit EPS growth in F14 could show up again as a growth story."
- "We think one or more of the following could boost the stock in the next year: i) the gross margin should be flat to up with iPad margins stabilizing and warranty accruals less of an incremental; ii) the imminent support of China Mobile (CHL) along with NTT DoCoMo (DCM) could aid the seasonally weak summer quarters; iii) the hire of Angela Ahrendts may provide an inspirational face to the company; and iv) new products should begin to renew faith in innovation, including wearables and iBeacon."
- AAPL +1.1% premarket to $557.26
Monday, Dec 25:24 PMApple buys Twitter analytics firm for reported $200M+
Monday, Dec 25:24 PM| 17 Comments
- Apple (AAPL) confirms it has acquired Topsy, a provider of search/analytics tools used by companies to monitor and analyze Twitter (TWTR) commentary from millions of users, and thereby gauge consumer sentiment. Sources tell the WSJ the purchase price was above $200M.
- As always, Apple is refusing to comment on its post-acquisition plans. The WSJ notes Topsy, one of the few firms to gain licensed access to Twitter's full data "firehose," could bolster iAd, by providing advertisers with real-time data about trending Twitter subjects. It could also help Apple optimize and provide recommendations for various Internet services.
- There has already been plenty of M&A activity (I, II) in the social media marketing software/services space, as companies look to better serve companies directing a growing portion of their digital ad spend towards Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. However, most of it has come from enterprise software vendors such as Salesforce, Oracle, and IBM.
- The purchase highlights the value being placed on Twitter's user data, and the insights that could potentially be gleaned from it. Twitter generated $47.3M (11% of total revenue) from data licensing sales over the first nine months of 2013, +36% Y/Y.
Friday, Nov 292:45 PMIBM, PayPal report strong mobile e-commerce growth on Thanksgiving
Friday, Nov 292:45 PM| 4 Comments
- IBM estimates mobile devices accounted for 25.8% of U.S. Thanksgiving e-commerce sales (up 49% Y/Y), and have accounted for 21.5% of Black Friday e-commerce sales thus far.
- Given mobile accounted for an even larger share of e-commerce traffic (42.6% and 37%, respectively), its conversation rates still notably lag PC levels. But the weakness entirely lies with smartphones (9% of Thanksgiving sales vs. 26.6% of traffic) rather than tablets (16.5% vs. 15.3%).
- Google (GOOG -0.3%), which has been trying to strengthen its tablet search ad prices via Enhanced Campaigns (requires joint PC/tablet ad campaigns), is probably happy to see that.
- On the other hand, Google is probably less happy to see that Android accounted for only 12% of of e-commerce traffic and 4.6% of sales, compared with 30% and 21% for iOS (AAPL). Monetization figures such as those are a key reason why many developers still write for iOS first, in spite of Android's burgeoning market share lead.
- Meanwhile, PayPal (EBAY +2.7%) says its mobile payment volumes rose 114.7% Y/Y on Thanksgiving, and that mobile shopping activity rose 91%. The online payments giant has already predicted its 2013 mobile payments will reach $20B, up from a 2012 level of $14B.
Friday, Nov 2911:49 AMApple rallies; U.S. iPad demand strong over Thanksgiving/Black Friday
Friday, Nov 2911:49 AM| 82 Comments
- With sizable promotions/discounts from top retailers providing a lift, all signs suggest U.S. iPad (AAPL +2.1%) sales over Thanksgiving and Black Friday have been quite healthy.
- Wal-mart says it sold 1.4M tablets overall on Thanksgiving, and that the iPad Mini (bundled with a $100 Wal-mart gift card) was a top seller. eBay says it was selling iPads at a rate of one unit per second as of midnight.
- Meanwhile, Target offered $100 gift cards to iPad Air buyers, and Best Buy offered $50 and $100 discounts, respectively, for the Air and iPad 2. Today, Apple's online store is offering gift card promos for iPads, MacBooks, and other hardware.
- Even as global tablet shipments surged, Apple's iPad sales fell 13% Y/Y in the Sep. quarter, and 27% in the June quarter. Apple is counting on its iPad refreshes to reverse the trend in the Dec. quarter, albeit while maintaining its premium pricing strategy in the face of strong competition from much cheaper Android tablets.
Wednesday, Nov 2710:25 AMReports: Foxconn further ramps 5S output, retina Mini production grows
Wednesday, Nov 2710:25 AM| 23 Comments
- The WSJ reports Foxconn "has been running its factories around the clock" to produce the iPhone 5S (AAPL +1.9%), an action that has (as noted by Gene Munster yesterday) lowered 5S order shipping times to 3-5 business days.
- A Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou, China is said to have ~300K workers dedicated solely to making the 5S and various components for it. A company exec says Foxconn's 5S production is at a record level of 500K units/day (run rate of 45M+ units/quarter).
- The WSJ, DisplaySearch, and Digitimes have all previously reported of rising 5S and falling 5C production in Q4.
- Digitimes reports Apple has ramped its November retina iPad Mini production orders to 4M, as component supply constraints that have hampered production thus far get removed.
- Apple's U.S. online store is currently showing a shipping time of 5-10 business days for all retina Mini models.
- Meanwhile, hopes continue to grow that China Mobile's (CHL +1.5%) Dec. 18 4G launch event (previous) will feature an iPhone announcement. "Industry insiders" tell state press agency Xinhua an iPhone launch will occur at the event.
Tuesday, Nov 2612:56 PMApple nears Oct. high amid reports of improving supplies, order pickups
Tuesday, Nov 2612:56 PM| 33 Comments
- Apple (AAPL +1.8%) has made new November highs, and is closing on its October peak of $539 (made right after the FQ4 report). Shares are still nearly unchanged YTD in a year that has seen the Nasdaq rise over 30%.
- Gene Munster is once more reporting of improving iPhone 5S supplies (previous): Shipping times have improved to 3-5 days from 2-3 weeks, and checks at 60 U.S. Apple Stores indicated 90% of SKUs were in stock.
- Separately, Digitimes' Taiwanese component supplier sources report iPhone 5C chip orders are expected to rise again in calendar Q1, following Q4 declines. If true, that's a positive for Apple-dependent chipmakers such as Cirrus Logic (CRUS +1.6%), Avago (AVGO +1.2%), and TriQuint (TQNT +2.8%).
- Digitimes and others have reported of major 5C production cuts, as sales of the plastic-shelled iPhone soundly trail those of the flagship 5S.
Monday, Nov 253:55 PMPicks from Goldman's Hedge Fund Monitor
Monday, Nov 253:55 PM| 15 Comments
- Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and AIG are the most popular (long) holdings of hedge funds, according to Goldman's latest hedge fund monitor, which analyzed the positions of 783 hedge funds with $1.7T of gross assets. Hedge fund holdings of AIG, however, account for 14 of the company's float compared to negligible amounts for Apple and Google.
- The 20 most concentrated hedge fund holdings as defined by the percent of equity cap owned by the funds has consistently been a significant outperformer, according to Goldman. In order: AN, STZ, JCP, FDO, THC, HRB, BEAM, MU, NWSA, VRSN, CBG, NFLX, GT, TSO, ETFC, MSI, WPX, WYN, HES, CCI. The top 20 last quarter is here.
- Overall, the studied hedge funds' performance leaves a bit to be desired, with average return of 6% YTD. Fewer than 5% outperformed the S&P 500, and 20% of funds posted an absolute loss.
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