Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway has purchased more than a billion dollars worth of AAPL stock. An SEC filing (via CNBC) revealed that the fund had purchased 9,811,747 shares worth a total of $1.069B as at the end of the first quarter.
It’s believed that Berkshire Hathaway owned few AAPL shares prior to this move. Warren Buffett said way back in 2011 that the conglomerate ‘held very few in the past and we’re likely to hold very few in the future’ as the company’s long-term prospects were too difficult to predict …
There was lots of news for Apple this week with the company’s Q2 2016 earnings representing some notable declines across the board despite reporting $50.6 billion in revenue and $10.5 billion in profit. But readers were more interested in the latest rumors and expectations for the upcoming iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2, as well as some new “exclusive” Apple Music and iTunes releases and this week’s new apps and updates.
Head below for all the handy links to this week’s top stories and more.
Despite Apple’s $50 billion quarter with $10 billion in profit, the January to March period marked Apple’s first quarter in 13 years without growth including year-over-year iPhone sales declines for the first time. Apple set the expectations back in January, but its stock still took a beating after this week’s earnings report. Now activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been very noisy about what he thinks Apple should do in the past, tells CNBC he has sold his massive share of Apple stock. Icahn once owned nearly 1% of Apple’s shares, and publicizing that he’s out of the stock will likely influence other investors to follow.
Following Apple’s earnings results last night, where it posted its first YOY quarterly revenue decline since 2003, AAPL has opened down more than 8% — the stock price is far below the $100 mark as morning trading begins. Apple reported revenue of $50 billion (compared against $58 billion in the year-ago quarter), on sales of 51.1 million iPhones, 10.2 million iPads and 4 million Macs.
The stock price fall means over 40 billion dollars of market cap value has been erased overnight. Market capitalization is the approximate value of the company, a multiple of the stock price and number of shares. The stock closed yesterday at $104.
As CNBC notes, Apple’s stock is seeing a noticeable afternoon dive following a supply chain report that iPhone production will remain reduced from April through June. Nikkei Asian Review issued the report earlier today:
Slow sales of the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which debuted last autumn, have forced Apple to adjust inventories. It lowered production for the January-March quarter by about 30% from the year-earlier period. With sales still sluggish, the U.S. company has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter.
Activist investor Carl Icahn, who on several occasions in the past has published open letters offering advice to Apple on stock related issues, has reportedly cut his stake in the company. CNBC reports that a filing discovered today shows Icahn has cut his shares by approximately 7 million, valued at approximately $750M, to 45.7 million shares as of December 31st, 2015. But it’s unclear exactly the motivation behind the move by Icahn, who has long been an outspoken advocate of the company and its stock performance.
Apple shares yesterday closed below $100 for the first time in 15 months, the WSJ noting that the value of the company has dropped by $100B in a little over a month, losing 7% this week alone.
The Cupertino company’s 4.2% drop on the day was greater than the overall market’s slide and the 3% slump in the Nasdaq Composite, which closed down 10% from its May peak. Since early December, Apple has shed $100 billion in market value.
The slide is being attributed to two factors: one (semi-)factual, one speculative …
December 31, 2015
There have been a number of predictions that Apple will next year report a year-on-year decline in iPhone shipments for the current quarter, KGI among them. Most such reports are based on extrapolating from supply chain data which attempts to estimate production volumes.
These reports contrast with Apple’s own guidance for record revenue of $75.5B to $77.5B. Tim Cook argued in October that some two-thirds of existing customers are still using older phones, leaving plenty of room for upgrades this quarter, and that Apple is winning over Android owners in record numbers.
One analyst believes he knows how the conflict can be resolved…
December 14, 2015
Update: Fortune reports that in a conference call, Huberty said her forecast was in part based on an estimated 10% drop in component orders. She noted that this could be due to robust inventories rather than weak demand, and that the numbers in the note were a ‘worst-case’ scenario. Huberty emphasized that she remains upbeat on Apple, citing a strong brand, loyal customers, R&D investment and other revenue streams compensating for weaker predicted iPhone sales.
[tweet https://twitter.com/philiped/status/676410189852078080 align=’center’]
The brand is strong. Customers are loyal. Gross margins are stable. R&D is going full tilt. And revenue streams from new products (Watch, Apple TV), apps, and media could start to make up for slowing iPhone growth.
An investment note by Morgan Stanley Katy Huberty predicts that Apple will see its iPhone sales fall by 5.7% in Apple’s 2016 financial year, reports Business Insider. The prediction is significant for two reasons: if realised, it would be the first time since the launch of the iPhone that sales have fallen year-on-year – and the forecast is made by a noted Apple bull.
Morgan Stanley thinks that Financial Year 2016 iPhones sales will be 218 million – a 5.7% drop — while Calendar Year 2016 sales will be 224,000 — a 2.9% drop. These predictions are significantly below Huberty’s previous estimates, of 247 million for FY2016 and 252 CY2016.
One of the reasons given isn’t new – high smartphone penetration in developed markets – but Huberty says there is a second reason …
November 18, 2015
A Goldman Sachs investment note argues that Apple has huge potential for generating more recurring revenue, suggesting an opportunity to generate an additional $7.6B a month, reports Business Insider. The company points to the rumored Apple TV subscription service as one future source of monthly revenue.
In a recurring revenue framework, we have constructed an average revenue per user (ARPU) metric that captures the installment plan pricing of the iPhone ($32/month), assumed installment plans for the other hardware products, and services (e.g. Music at $10/mo, TV at $40/mo) …
November 17, 2015
October 28, 2015
Apple has finally launched iOS 9.1 with a few new features you may be interested in. Along with that, we have some thoughts on those fresh iPhone 6s and Apple Watch ads and orders for the new Apple TV have started. Plus we dive into what Apple’s earnings results mean for the company. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.
October 27, 2015
The consensus forecast among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for Apple’s Q4 earnings is $51.11B, up 21.3% year-on-year. This would be slightly above the top end of Apple’s guidance of $49-51B reportsRe/code. Analysts predict unadjusted net profit of $10.72 billion, or $1.88 per AAPL share – up from $1.42 per share last year … expand full story