August 14, 2013

Following comments from billionaire investor Carl Icahn that he had taken a “large position” in Apple and discussed a larger buyback with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s stock experienced a new six-month high of over $488 per share. Today, AAPL continues to climb and has passed the $500 mark for the first time in nearly eight months since January 23rd.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal yesterday, Icahn noted that he expects Apple shares will soon rise above $600 and explained his proposal for increasing the stock buyback:

“This is a no-brainer to go buy stock in a company that can go borrow” at a low rate, Mr. Icahn said in an interview. “Buy the company here and even without earnings growth, we think it ought to be worth $625,” he said, referring to the stock price, which closed Tuesday at $489.57, having risen 5% on the news of Mr. Icahn’s investment.

Mr. Icahn’s thesis rests on Apple borrowing at about a 3% interest rate and buying back shares right now, likely at around $525 a piece. A stock buyback can increase earnings per share by reducing the number of shares outstanding.

While Icahn didn’t provide any financial details, WSJ adds that sources say his stake in Apple is now worth over $1.5 billion. expand full story

There’s an old adage in photography that it’s about the photographer, not the camera. By phone standards, the iPhone camera is a decent one, but it’s not the most obvious choice for creative photography. The annual iPhone Photography Awards show just what can be achieved in the right hands.

I’ve picked out my three favourites, above and below. Think you can do better? Post some links in the comments …  expand full story

9to5toys 

August 13, 2013

Popular online media aggregation and discovery app for iOS, Matcha, suddenly disappeared from the App Store in late May without any explanation by the company or Apple. Tonight it became clear exactly what happened.

According to Venture Beat, Apple has acquired Matcha.tv for an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million. Although, the final total could be higher once the deal is completed. Unsurprisingly, Matcha.tv CEO Guy Piekarz declined to comment on the potential acquisition and Apple served Venture Beat their typical canned response that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Matcha.tv launched in January of 2012 and steadily grew its fan base by providing an easy way to browse streaming movie and TV shows across all the major sources including Netflix, iTunes, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others. During its time on the App Store it amassed a favorable 4.5 star rating from iTunes reviewers and was also received well by tech pundits. At first glance this service would seem as a nice way for Apple to fortify a full-fledged Apple TV service or expand their current offering with deeper airplay capabilities and controller integration. Tim Cook has repeatedly said that TV remains an area of “great interest” so it makes sense that they are arming themselves with the resources necessary to take their “hobby” to the next level.

Apple has already successfully completed several strategic acquisitions this year including Passif, a developer of low-power chipsets, and Hopstop, a mapping service.

9to5google 

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