Opinion: Seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years

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I first speculated that Apple might one day become a bank almost a year before the launch of Apple Pay. What triggered that thought was the use of Touch ID for iTunes purchases and the depth of security involved in the secure enclave used by Apple’s fingerprint system. It was clear even then that Apple had big ambitions in the mobile payment field.

Now that Apple Pay has launched, and already proven a big success, I think the argument for Apple to make the move are even stronger. So here are seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years …  Read more

Apple announces major new bond sale to finance increases in capital return program

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At its last earnings call, Apple announced that it is expanding its capital return program by more than 50%. This means the company is now looking to repurchase over $140 billion worth of shares and a larger dividend for shareholders.

To fund this activity however, it is cheaper for the company to sell domestic company debt than repatriate its ever-increasing cash hoard that is ‘trapped’ overseas. Therefore, Apple has today announced it will issue a new 7-part bond to raise the funds.

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Apple says it could face ‘material’ back taxes over Ireland tax arrangements

Following its announcement of record Q2 earnings, Apple published its quarterly 10-Q report, providing more in-depth details about finances. Notably, the company warns of the possibility of “material” back taxes due to the company’s well-documented favorable tax arrangements with Ireland.

On June 11, 2014, the European Commission issued an opening decision initiating a formal investigation against Ireland for alleged state aid to the Company. The opening decision concerns the allocation of profits for taxation purposes of the Irish branches of two subsidiaries of the Company. The Company believes the European Commission’s assertions are without merit. If the European Commission were to conclude against Ireland, the European Commission could require Ireland to recover from the Company past taxes covering a period of up to 10 years reflective of the disallowed state aid. While such amount could be material, as of March 28, 2015 the Company is unable to estimate the impact.

Apple will need to pay the fines if the European Commission, which is akin to the U.S.’s SEC, rules that Ireland granted Apple special privileges for reduced taxes. As the European Commission has not made any formal rulings on the fine, Apple says it could not estimate the impact. However, the Financial Times pegs the potential payments at $2.5 billion based on Apple’s current rate of profits.

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AAPL joining famed Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing AT&T

AAPL March 6th

Apple will be joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average taking wireless carrier AT&T’s spot on the famed stock market index, CNBC reports. The change will take place in just under two weeks at the end of trading on March 18th. The Dow is heavily viewed as being indicative of the overall stock market performance in the United States, and Apple’s rising stock price will soon be a significant factor to that number.

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Apple builds national enterprise sales team for IBM partnership, targets industrial, healthcare, financial customers

Tim-IBM

Apple is looking to hire individuals across the US for a team of IBM Business Development Executives that “will be accountable for all aspects of the Apple and IBM partnership for a defined geographic and account set territory.” That means Apple is hiring a team of individuals that will act as company liaisons to help roll out and oversee sales teams pushing the new Apple/IBM iOS solutions to enterprise customers. The positions, which are industry and region-specific, also show Apple’s plan for the upcoming expansion of its enterprise solutions for new industries including manufacturing and healthcare.  Read more

Intuit debuts redesigned Quicken 2015 for Mac with free mobile apps

Quicken 2015

Intuit is out today with a new version of its personal finance app with the release of Quicken 2015 for Mac. The latest version of Quicken boasts an overhauled design to simplify the app as well as “new investment capabilities”, Intuit says. The new Mac version is accompanied by a sync compatible, updated Quicken Money Management app for iPhone which supports snapping and saving receipts as well as displaying charts on-the-go…

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Apple more than doubles capital returns, $100B to be returned to shareholders by end of 2015

Just off the wires, Apple is more than doubling its capital returns citing its inability to stop making more money than it can spend to “operate the business, invest in our future, and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities.”

As part of this program, Apple’s board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from the $10 billion level announced last year. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015. Apple also expects to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

More details in the press release that follows: Read more

iPhone 4 owners begin receiving their $15 ‘Antennagate’ settlement checks from Apple

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Payday has come for some of the first responders to the iPhone 4 class action lawsuit.  Last February a settlement was reached that granted iPhone 4 owners who had not previously received a free bumper for their “defective” iPhones a $15 payout.  Several of our readers are now reporting that they received their settlement checks today.  The first checks were issued on April 17 2013 and are void after July 16th.  Unfortunately the deadline for submitting a claim has passed so if you missed out the first time around it seems you are out of luck.

In case you forgot, the settlement found:

Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”

Apple paid out a total of $53 million in the settlement, which was lawyers took a hefty $16M chunk.

iPad 3 press invite and favorable market push AAPL toward half a trillion dollar market cap

Update: AAPL closed at 535.41 but is at 536.37 pushing its market cap over $500B

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Some folks noticed that shares of Apple, Inc. surged yesterday morning amid favorable market conditions. Today’s announcement of the March 7 iPad 3 unveiling has managed to push the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered designer of shiny electronics to a new lifetime high. The Apple stock, which trades on NASDAQ under the AAPL symbol, was up nearly nine points, or more than 1.5-percent, in early afternoon trading.

Valued at $534.08 a share, the company was just shy of $500 billion in market valuation at the time of this writing. Wow, just wow. Talk about the iPad effect.

That is still below Microsoft’s $583 billion valuation from 1999, but the iPhone maker’s getting closer and closer with each passing day. AAPL first crossed the $500 a share milestone the day before Valentine’s Day. Earlier on Feb. 9, 2012, shares of Apple, Inc. passed 10 percent of all of NASDAQ value and traded at $431 a share. In addition, right following Valentine’s Day, Apple first passed the psychological $500 a share barrier. For comparison’s sake, AAPL on Steve Jobs’ Oct. 5, 2011 passing traded at $378.25.

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AAPL crosses $500 per share for the first time, now worth more than twice its smartphone rivals combined


Shares of California-based Apple broke a new record today. Image via Chronic

Shares of Apple, Inc. hit a new high this morning. Just as you thought passing 10 percent of all of NASDAQ value was too good to be true, shares of Apple continue to rise and challenge the most intrepid analyst out there. Blame it on an early-March iPad 3 launch hype, but in NASDAQ trading this morning, AAPL crossed $500 a share for a market valuation north of $460 billion. In other words, a single share of Apple now commands a higher price than an iPad 2—remarkable. It rather makes you want to bang your head against the wall for not buying shares at $7 each back in 2003.

Essentially, Apple is now worth a whopping $70 billion more than the oil giant Exxon Mobil, whose market cap stands at $397.85 billion. Moreover, BGR noted Apple is worth more than each one of its smartphone vendor rivals combined. As of Friday’s close, the publication explained, the combined market value of Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Motorola Mobility, RIM, Sony and LG is $225.36 billion, which is less than half Apple’s today valuation. Oh, and remember Apple was weeks from bankruptcy 15 years ago.

Another way to look at it: On Steve Jobs’ Oct. 5, 2011 passing, AAPL traded at $378.25. Note that Microsoft was worth $583 billion in 1999, so Apple still has some catching up to do to become the most valuable company of all time. However, Apple is still undervalued even at $500 a share. Therefore, beating Microsoft’s all-time high market valuation should be a matter of when, and not if.

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