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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 22, 2014
13:18 EDTAAPL, IBM, BLKEarnings Preview: Apple reports after stock split, Beats purchase, iOS 8 launch
Apple (AAPL) is set to report third quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, July 22, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Apple, the world's most valuable company by market capitalization, is the manufacturer of the iPhone and iPad, among other desktop and mobile computing devices. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.23 on revenue of $37.99B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.14-$1.37 on revenue of $36.58B-$40.31B. In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Street analysts expect year-over-year iPhone sales growth of 14% to 35M-36M units, flat iPad sales of 14M-15M units, and a Q3 gross margin of 38%. Munster added that he expects Apple to guide Q4 revenues to $39B-$41B, which is in keeping with Street estimates for about $40.4B in Q4 revenue. LAST QUARTER: Apple reported second quarter EPS of $11.62 on revenue of $45.6B, which topped estimates for $10.18 and $43.5B, respectively. Apple reported iPhones sales of 43.7M units, iPad sales of 16.35M units and Mac sales of 4.14M. Apple said it sees Q3 revenue of $36B-$38B and a gross margin of 37%-38%. Along with its Q2 report, Apple announced a seven-for-one stock split. Apple also announced that its board raised its share repurchase authorization to $90B from the $60B level announced last year and an increase to the company’s quarterly dividend of approximately 8% to $3.29 per common share. NEWS: On May 28, Apple confirmed that it agreed to buy Beats Music, which operates a streaming music service, and Beats Electronics, which makes and sells electronic music products such as headphones and speakers, for $3B. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple said at that time that it expects the transaction to close in Q4. On June 2, Apple announced OS X Yosemite, a new version of OS X redesigned and refined with a new look, new apps and new continuity features. Apple also unveiled iOS 8, a new version of its mobile operating system with new features for users and developers. Among the features were iCloud Photo Library, which allows user to enjoy photos and videos more easily across devices, new Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos, and a new Health app. Apple noted that the software development kit, or SDK, for iOS 8 was its "biggest developer release ever," with more than 4,000 new APIs. Apple and IBM announced last week that they would collaborate to provide mobile solutions for businesses. Under the deal, the companies will develop more than 100 enterprise solutions, including native apps, for Apple's iPhone and iPads. Moreover, IBM will sell iPhone and iPads to all of its business clients around the world, the companies noted. Also last week, Apple announced that Susan Wagner, founding partner and director of BlackRock (BLK), has been elected to Apple's board and that Bill Campbell, the board’s longest-serving member, is retiring after 17 years of service. Mac Rumors reported on July 10 that Apple was said to have ordered 68M iPhone 6 devices, citing a report in Taiwan's Business Weekly. That's double the amount of phones that the tech giant ordered prior to launching the iPhone 5 in 2012, the tech blog noted. The Wall Street Journal subsequently claimed that Apple has asked its suppliers to manufacture between 70M-80M of its two upcoming large-screen iPhones by the end of the year. ANALYST OPINION: On the day after Apple's last quarterly report, CLSA upgraded its rating on the shares to Buy from Outperform. On May 9, ISI Group downgraded Apple to Buy from Strong Buy, citing valuation. On June 2, following Apple's launch event for iOS 8, Piper Jaffray said it believed parts of Apple's new operating system point towards a possible iWatch later in the year and potential connected home products in the future. Piper said at that time that Apple remains on track to deliver multiple new product categories by the end of 2014. On June 17, Societe Generale upgraded Apple to Buy from Hold. On July 14, Barclays raised its rating on Apple to Overweight from Equal Weight, citing its channel checks that indicated near-term upside to consensus estimates. The firm also believes troubles at Samsung are creating an opportunity for Apple to regain market share and raised its price target for Apple shares to $110 from $95. The same day, Morgan Stanley said its survey results suggest June quarter iPhone demand upside. The firm raised its iPhone unit estimate to 36M from 34M and increased its EPS estimate to $1.24. Morgan Stanley increased it price target on Apple to $110 per share. Yesterday, JMP Securities upgraded Apple to Outperform from Market Perform, as the firm thinks the company is poised to report higher than expected sales and gross margins over the near-term and intermediate term. JMP set a price target of $135 on the stock. In his note previewing Apple's quarter, Munster wrote that Apple's guidance for its September-end quarter should tell investors if new iPhones are launching in September or later in the year. The Piper analyst expects a typical September launch, which could give the company 5 or 12 days of sales with the new phone depending on a standard Friday launch and its timing. Munster estimated the potential 7 day swing in the timing of the new phone could mean a 3M-4M unit and about $2B difference in the guidance for Q4, citing recent weekly run-rates for iPhone sales near launch quarters. PRICE ACTION: Each Apple shareholder of record at the close of business on June 2 received six additional shares for every share held on the record date and trading began on a split-adjusted basis on June 9. Shares of Apple advanced about 8% on the first day of trade following its Q2 report. Since the first day of trade following its last quarterly report, shares of Apple are up nearly 26%. In early afternoon trading ahead of its Q3 report tonight, Apple was up fractionally to just over $94 per share.
News For AAPL;BLK;IBM From The Last 14 Days
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May 14, 2015
18:39 EDTAAPLApple, others raise objections to sale of RadioShack customer data, Law360 says
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17:36 EDTAAPLApple responds to rumored HomeKit delay, says first device next month, WSJ says
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17:17 EDTAAPLApple submits patent application to expand 'home button' features
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16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; May 14, 2015
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14:04 EDTAAPLApple delays launch of HomeKit to early fall, Fortune reports
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09:34 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
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07:34 EDTAAPLApple search volume continues to surge in China, says UBS
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07:31 EDTBLKBlackRock says securities lending risk overstated by regulators, Reuters reports
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06:29 EDTAAPLApple Music to have deep social integration for artists, 9to5Mac reports
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06:17 EDTAAPLApple plans expansion of key Irish plant, Irish Independent reports
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06:16 EDTAAPLApple and A123 prepare to settle employee-poaching lawsuit, WSJ reports
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May 13, 2015
16:06 EDTAAPLOptions Update; May 13, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 38c to 20.67. Option volume leaders: AAPL CSCO NTI FB CSX BABA EIX BAC DD WMB TSLA JCP QCOM DAL
13:15 EDTAAPLInquirer discusses recent Apple for BlackBerry takeover rumors
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09:39 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
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09:03 EDTIBMIBM partners with Teleflora for large florists network
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07:52 EDTAAPLApple Watch margins will grow to over 50%, says UBS
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07:29 EDTBLKUBS to hold a conference
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07:03 EDTAAPLNext iPhone to feature 12 MP camera, be offered in rose gold, AppleInsider says
For its next iPhone 6 model, Apple will offer a new rose gold option, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who did not make clear whether the luxury model would be made of actual gold or if it will simply resemble the color of the high-end Apple Watch Edition, reported AppleInsider. Kuo also said Apple will upgrade the camera to 12 megapixels and suggested that some "Plus" models may use scratch-resistant sapphire covers, though that is dependent on success in testing, the report added. Reference Link
06:55 EDTAAPLInsiders speculate bidding war to erupt over AOL, Business Insider reports
The consensus speculation from investment bankers, hedge fund traders and people close to AOL (AOL) is that another company will emerge and offer a price for AOL that is higher than $50 per share, reports Business Insider. The potential suitors include Time Warner (TWX), Comcast (CMCSA), Yahoo (YHOO), Alibaba (BABA), Softbank (SFTBF), AT&T (T), Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL). Reference Link
05:55 EDTAAPLTSMC awarded orders for SSD controller chips for Apple, DigiTimes reports
TSMC (TSM) has landed SSD controller chip orders from Apple, reports DigiTimes. According to industry sources, TSMC will utilize a 28nm process to fabricate controller cihps for Apple. Reference Link
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