July 22, 2016

AAPL: 98.66

-0.77

Apple has already told investors to expect a substantial year-on-year decline in Q3 earnings when it reveals the numbers next week, so it’s no surprise that analysts are mostly downbeat in their predictions for the quarter. However, there is an optimistic note in most of the analyst notes summarized by Business Insider when it comes to the outlook for 2017 …

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July 18, 2016

AAPL: 99.83

1.05

Apple’s stock price $AAPL is back into triple digits, breaking the $100 mark for the first time since June 6th. The rise doesn’t seem to be tied to any particular news event but AAPL stock has rallied through the second half of last week. The recorded high for today is $100.13 although naturally stock prices vary all the time.

Eyes are on Apple’s earning results, due July 26, to see if the company can meet expectations after ending its 13-year record revenue streak last quarter.

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June 21, 2016

AAPL: 95.91

0.81

Apple first introduced its mobile payments solution in 2014 and has been gradually expanding it both domestically and internationally since then, most recently announcing a handful of new features and countries at WWDC this month. What’s interesting to note, however, is that Apple is bringing in just $0.15 per every $100 spent using Apple Pay. Brian Nichols of InvestorPlace points out that rate is much lower than the 2 percent to 4 percent rates collected by companies like MasterCard and Visa. The solution suggested by Nichols? Make Apple Pay an actual transactor of payments…

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June 20, 2016

AAPL: 95.10

-0.23

Credit Suisse has predicted that a change to an index designed to help fund managers hold the right balance of stock to meet their goals is likely to see a net sell-off of AAPL shares to the tune of $1.3B. This scale of sales is expected to be large enough to cause a fall in the share price, reports Reuters.

The index concerned is known as the Russell Index, which classifies stocks as some mix of ‘growth’ and ‘value’ depending on their performance. Growth stocks are expected to generate higher returns at greater risk, while value stocks are those likely to generate lower returns at less risk. Apple is being reclassified as 92% growth and 8% value …

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June 7, 2016

AAPL: 99.03

0.40

May 27, 2016

AAPL: 100.35

-0.06

The billion dollar AAPL investment Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway disclosed in an SEC filing a fortnight ago seems to have gone a long way toward restoring investor confidence. Fortune reports that the stock has climbed 9% since the disclosure, taking it back above the $100 mark.

Buffett tends to have that effect on stocks—for example, when the company disclosed a stake in Kinder Morgan in February, shares shot up 11%. Apple’s rise in the past few weeks is no doubt partially the cause of Berkshire Hathaway’s disclosure.

AAPL’s share price dropped sharply after the company’s Q2 earnings report revealing a substantial year-on-year fall in iPhone sales. Sales of 51.1M iPhones were 18% lower than the 61.1M sold in the same quarter the previous year …

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May 20, 2016

AAPL: 95.22

1.02

May 17, 2016

AAPL: 93.49

-0.39

Google may have last week managed to overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable company for the second time this year, but as was the case last time, it didn’t last long. As Philip Elmer-DeWitt noted in his blog, Apple has quickly regained its number one slot …

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May 16, 2016

AAPL: 93.88

3.36

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 …

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May 12, 2016

AAPL: 90.34

-2.17

Google parent company Alphabet has once again surpassed Apple in terms of value based on market capitalization. CNBC points out that Alphabet (GOOG) saw its market cap around $498.56 billion during trading today, while Apple (AAPL) saw its market cap down around $496.69 billion.

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May 4, 2016

AAPL: 94.19

-0.99

April 30, 2016

AAPL: 93.74

-1.09

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.

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April 28, 2016

AAPL: 94.83

-2.99

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.

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April 27, 2016

AAPL: 97.82

-6.53

This week Zac and Benjamin get into new iPhone 7 rumors, news about Apple Watch 2, as well as Apple’s somewhat disappointing $50b quarter. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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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.

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April 15, 2016

AAPL: 109.85

-2.25

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.

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February 16, 2016

AAPL: 96.64

2.65

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.

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January 11, 2016

AAPL: 98.53

1.57

Belgian ruling increases likelihood that AAPL’s sweetheart tax deal in Ireland will be ruled illegal

The European Commission has ruled that tax breaks offered by Belgium to multinational companies are illegal, and that the companies concerned must pay the full rate of tax due in the country, reports VentureBeat. This follows similar decisions in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

While none of these rulings directly impact Apple, they do make it look extremely likely that the Commission will reach the same decision in Ireland, where Apple pays just 2.5% corporation tax instead of the normal 12.5%.

The Irish government offered Apple the special deal in order to encourage the company to choose the country as its European headquarters. The European Commission has been running a lengthy investigation into the legality of this arrangement, and has recently extended and expanded its scope.

If Ireland is indeed found to have broken the law, Apple will have to pay the difference in tax for up to ten years. The total amount was estimated last year at $2.5 billion. Apple warned shareholders at the time that it may face ‘material’ back taxes should the decision go against it.

The EC isn’t the only entity unhappy with Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland either. The Italian government accused Apple of failing to declare more than $1.3 billion of corporation tax in the country as a result of funneling profits through to Ireland. Apple, which has 16 retail stores in the country, recently agreed to pay the full €318M ($347M) claimed by the Italian tax office.

Photo: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

January 8, 2016

AAPL: 96.96

0.51

Analysts pile the pressure on AAPL saying company over-optimistic or “deliberately overstating” position

As if Apple’s management wasn’t under enough pressure from the stock falling below $100 yesterday, two firms of analysts have said that the company was either over-optimistic in its iPhone sales expectations or has even been guilty of “deliberately overstating underlying trends.”

Business Insider quotes excerpts from investor notes from Pacific Crest and UBS, each suggesting that Apple has over-estimated iPhone demand. Both point to apparent contradictions between Apple’s predictions of continued growth and supply-chain reports of reduced orders.

UBS says that it believes Apple has been taken by surprise with the relatively low numbers of people upgrading from older iPhones.

We think the most likely reason for a shortfall is that the upgrader portion of unit demand has stalled significantly in recent months and is failing to meet Apple’s own expectations.

The note from Pacific Crest goes much further.

Management’s confidence now looks highly likely to be misplaced, which suggests that it was either ignorant of the challenges it faced or deliberately overstating underlying trends. The former seems unlikely, which suggests that management has taken a much more aggressive tone as growth in the high-end smartphone market has slowed. This reduces our confidence in Apple’s commentary going forward.

Business Insider notes that the Wall Street consensus is for significant year-on-year fall in the current quarter, ranging from Stifel, Aaron Rakers and team forecasting an 8% drop in sales through to Pacific Crest at 18%. Even noted Apple bull Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley is predicting a 15% fall this quarter.

As we noted earlier, Apple’s guidance for the current quarter will be issued when it reports its holiday quarter numbers on January 26th.

Photo: wallpapersfine.com

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 …

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