1,249.75 +0.91 (0.07%)
After hours: 7:59PM EDT
|Bid||1,249.75 x 1400|
|Ask||1,251.88 x 1100|
|Day's Range||1,228.36 - 1,249.09|
|52 Week Range||970.11 - 1,273.89|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.16|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||28.58|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||1,352.50|
For the first time, Amazon and Google will provide its own free music streaming. For Amazon Music Unlimited, a free version of the service will first launch in America and can be used with Echo smart speakers. Google's free service will be through YouTube Music and will launch internationally.
In a new book about legendary Silicon Valley adviser Bill Campbell, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt describes his subject as a salt-of-the-earth, tough-love savant.
Tesla is taking a page from Uber and Airbnb in its latest ambitious proclamation. autonomous driving projects, CEO Elon Musk and a handful of executives walked investors and analysts through the technology behind its "full self-driving" (FSD) features, which are meant to be enabled in every Tesla car produced from here on out. Tesla shares closed 3.85% lower on Monday and were roughly flat after-hours following the autonomy event.
In the world of autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Silicon Valley are bustling hubs of development and testing. But ask those involved in self-driving vehicles when we might actually see them ...
As is the case for the debit card, the fact that Venmo works as a social network of sorts -- consumers use it not just to pay other users and businesses, but to share their payment activity with others who can like or comment on it -- could help its credit card gain some traction. Notably, thanks to its popularity with younger U.S. consumers, Venmo's total payment volume (TPV) growth has been much faster than its estimated user growth in recent growth.
Nearly every other company working on autonomous driving technology — from Google to global automakers like General Motors and Audi — are using computers that analyze data from a combination of lidar, radar and cameras to guide their vehicles. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk insists that "lidar is a fools errand."
Can Berkshire Hathaway Play Catch-Up with the S&P 500 This Year?(Continued from Prior Part)Share buybacks Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) chair Warren Buffett hasn’t been a big fan of share buybacks. Buffett prefers companies that invest cash in
Uber felt it necessary to "foster the power of the people," who demanded that the transportation industry be democratized, Michael said during CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment. During its infant stages, Uber's team felt the company should be a "platform for urban logistics" and rushed to introduce new services worldwide, like Uber Eats, the former exec said. Profitability is possible as Uber improves economies of scale and reduces fixed costs as more users take advantage of its multiple services, Michael said.
Spotify's stock is feeling the heat. Late last week, Amazon announced a free, ad-supported version of Amazon Music available through Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. Amazon also sells an $8 per month unlimited subscription that expands the available catalog to 50 million songs.
Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is expected to release earnings tomorrow, April 23, before the open. Year-to-date, Twitter stock is up almost 20%. I believe that the relatively strong recent performance of TWTR stock has been based on robust fundamentals. Last quarter's results showed that Twitter is making more money than ever before as it delivered its fifth profitable quarter in a row. I expect the positive trend in earnings to continue this quarter, too.Source: Andreas Eldh via FlickrWith earnings season in full swing, let us look at the catalysts that are likely to provide tailwinds to TWTR stock price during the rest of the year. Twitter Stock's Fundamentals Are RobustRecent research shows that most U.S.-residents get their news from social media as opposed to more traditional outlets, such as TV or print media. With more than 336 million monthly active users (MAUs), Twitter is one of the biggest social networks globally. Its main competitors include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 3 Stocks on Shaky Ground The number of users and the engagement of users are crucial in determining the value of a social network company and hence its stock price. When Twitter reports, investors will pay attention to Twitter's user metrics, particularly its monetizable daily active users (mDAU). The company revealed this metric for the first time ever during its Q4 2018 earnings report. Twitter has 126 million users daily and this figure is growing.Twitter said that it only counts users who could be exposed to ads -- its "monetizable" audience. Many investors have since cheered this number as they feel that there is further room for Twitter to grow, translating to a potential increase in the stock price.The microblogging service also reported $791 million in ad revenue in Q4, an increase of 23% year-over-year (YOY) as well as a jump in profits by 180% YOY. Finally, Twitter's data licensing revenue increased 35% YOY to $117 million. Data Licensing is Propelling TWTR's GrowthAs the world's best-known micro-blogging platform Twitter is used by politicians, journalists and global brands. Many readers see breaking global news or the opinions of famous people on TWTR first. In its February earnings release, investors applauded Twitter's data licensing business, a significant revenue generator which produced double-digit percentage growth.The data licensing business involves providing additional information to companies about tweets. Recently, the company has started offering cheaper data access packages to smaller companies, a move that is likely to increase its revenue further.Wall Street now expects Twitter's high-margin data licensing revenue to be boosted by further international expansion, as the number of overseas TWTR users are increasing, especially in the developing world. Its latest earnings call noted that the total international revenue was $403 million, an increase of 24%, or 27% on a constant currency basis.Furthermore, TWTR will be able to monetize the videos on its website more effectively as it captures a higher percentage of ad spending that is moving to digital video. Twitter owns Periscope, a live video streaming app. In general, video has far higher engagement than text or banner advertisements. To incentivize video makers, Twitter gives the creators get 70% of the ad revenue. Handling of Digital Security IssuesEspecially during 2018, Facebook has been hurt by declining user growth following the digital security issues that were revealed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook's user losses accelerated and investors seem skeptical about its ability to resolve the complex problems it's facing.On the other hand, TWTR stock has weathered the initial headwinds of its digital security issues better than FB, as the company has taken steps to remove fake accounts and improve user engagement. Analysts and investors have credited CEO and founder Jack Dorsey with making Twitter more relevant, even as many other social media stocks are going through a rough stretch. Short-Term Technical ChartsOver the past few weeks, TWTR stock has been trading in a range of $30-$35. Priorly it has formed a base between $27.50-$32.50. This level now acts as a support zone, from which the shares can easily make a new sustained leg upwards.Tech stocks may be volatile during Q2 as there could be some short-term profit-taking following the strong Q1 gains. During this earnings season, if the internet services industry which TWTR is part of, other social media companies, or the broader market decline as the companies release earnings, Twitter stock price may also be adversely affected.When the company reports earnings on April 23, investors will pay extremely close attention to the details in the company's quarterly results. The options markets are pricing in an approximate post-earnings move of 10-12% in either direction in TWTR shares. In case of a favorable earnings report, my next price target for Twitter stock in the coming weeks is between $38 - $42.On the other hand, any disappointment in Twitter's earnings statement or future outlook could quickly send the shares to low $30's. Thus, there might be a weakness in the TWTR stock price in the near-term that potential investors should anticipate. The Bottom Line on TWTR StockAlthough I would not advocate bottom-picking as there might be more volatility and even a small initial sell-off following the Twitter earnings report, the social media company's best days from a robust fundamental perspective are likely to be ahead of it.On a final note, takeover rumors of Twitter have been around for several years. The two potential names to buy the company could be Alphabet or Disney (NYSE:DIS). * 7 Tech Stocks With Too Much Risk, Not Enough Upside Investors who are interested in social media companies, but do not want to commit all their capital to a single stock such as TWTR may also consider investing in various exchange-traded Funds (ETFs) that have Twitter as a holding, including Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLC) or Global X Social Media Index ETF (NASDAQ:SOCL).As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Tech Stocks With Too Much Risk, Not Enough Upside * 7 Companies That Are Closing the CEO-Worker Wage Gap * 7 Video Game ETFs That Will Make You a Winner Compare Brokers The post Should You Buy Twitter Stock Ahead of Earnings on Tuesday? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The retailer’s brands still resonate with teen shoppers, but its smaller rivals are locking in more Instagram followers.
But it sounds more like an internal operating system for its hardware products than a potential rival for Alexa or Siri.
Key Macro Updates: Growth, Central Banks, and Earnings(Continued from Prior Part)Resilient earningsLast year, several observers raised concerns that corporate earnings growth could disappoint in 2019. However, so far, the first-quarter earnings
In late 2018, it looked like digital ad stocks were on the verge of absolute disaster.It all started with rampant data privacy and security issues that stung some of the industry's titans. Then, those titans started to report numbers in 2018 that were worrisome. User growth broadly slowed, a result of fake account vetting and broader social media fatigue. Revenue growth slowed, too. Margins dropped because digital ad companies were spending an arm and a leg to doubly secure user data. Profit growth fell flat across the whole industry.What a difference a few months makes.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn 2019, all those concerns have moved into the rear-view mirror, and digital ad stocks have roared higher. Data privacy headwinds have turned out to be temporary. Slowing user growth has been largely offset by rising engagement growth. Revenue growth has come roaring back. Margins are starting to improve after a temporary setback. Profit growth is expected to re-accelerate higher. * 10 Best Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever Because of these broad improvements across the whole industry, tech stocks -- digital ad stocks in particular -- look good for the rest of 2019. With that in mind, let's take a look at seven tech stocks that deserve your attention today. Alphabet (GOOG)Source: Shutterstock The king of the digital ad world, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), will naturally benefit as sentiment across the whole industry improves throughout 2019.The biggest concern over at Alphabet is margins. Revenue growth has been steady at a 20%-plus rate for several consecutive years. Given the company's wide and irreplaceable reach across Google search, YouTube and various other digital properties, this 20%-plus revenue growth rate will likely persist for the foreseeable future (self-driving and cloud revenue should help, too). But, margins have been in free-fall as there has been a huge migration to mobile ads, which Google wasn't optimized for. As such, click-through-rates were lower, and margins were hit hard.But, margins have shown signs of stabilizing for a few quarters now, and it appears that the worst of this margin headwind is behind the company. If so, revenues and margins should rise concurrently in 2019. That should produce some of the biggest profit growth rates Alphabet has seen in several quarters. Ultimately, that will help GOOG stock rally to new highs. Facebook (FB)Source: Via Stock SnapThe second-largest digital ad company in the world, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), was hit hard in 2018 amid numerous headwinds. But, those headwinds have passed in 2019, and Facebook stock has since roared higher.This rally will continue for the rest of 2019. Broadly speaking, there are three things at play here. One, Facebook is pushing forward on a new growth vertical through e-commerce, and this revenue diversification will be well-received by investors, boost sentiment and give analysts room to move long-term estimates higher. Two, Facebook is finally figuring out how to optimally monetize Stories ads, and this will cause revenue growth rates to move higher in 2019, which will also boost investor sentiment and push long-term estimates higher. Three, Facebook's spend rates will moderate against very easy laps, creating an opportunity for huge profit growth. * 6 Cheap Stocks That Cost Less Than $10 Overall, then, the story of Facebook in 2019 will be defined by renewed revenue growth, expanding margins and robust profit growth. That tri-fecta of favorable attributes will keep FB stock on a solid uptrend for all of 2019, especially considering that the stock remains cheap relative to other high-growth, high-margin peers. Twitter (TWTR)Source: Shutterstock Once considered the ugly duckling in the digital ad world, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has rapidly changed its growth narrative over the past several years through renewed digital ad growth, and this narrative flip has sparked a surge in TWTR stock.To be sure, even the recovery hasn't been a smooth ride for Twitter. Twitter stock was adversely impacted in 2018 by negative user growth trends. Specifically, the company's monthly active user base started consistently shrinking. Investors didn't like that trend. Twitter has since eradicated the metric in favor of daily active users. Investors weren't too fond of that move, either.But, monthly active user base shrinkage doesn't really matter here. Instead, what matters is continued robust revenue growth, healthy engagement growth, and steady margin expansion. The market is starting to realize this. As Twitter continues to report all three of those things throughout 2019, Twitter stock will bounce back. Snap (SNAP)Source: Shutterstock All digital ad stocks have rebounded in 2019. But, none have bounced back quite like Snap (NYSE:SNAP), which has gone from zero in 2018, to hero in 2019, on its way to a 100%-plus year-to-date gain.The catalyst behind the big move higher in the stock? User base stabilization. The late 2018 plunge in Snap stock was the result of the user base declining in back to back quarters. That trend ended last quarter. The user base didn't grow. But, it didn't shrink either. Investors were encouraged that this, coupled with continued robust revenue growth and margin expansion, was a sign that the worst was over for Snap. * 7 Strong Buy Stocks the Street Loves But, that may not be true. Instagram appears to still be eating Snap's launch, and the rapid rise of Tik Tok has almost surely had a negative impact on Snap usage. Thus, next quarter's numbers may not support the big year-to-date rally in Snap stock. If so, then this stock could be due for a major sell-off. Pinterest (PINS)Source: Shutterstock In the group of publicly traded tech stocks, the new kid on the block is Pinterest (NYSE:PINS), but this newness doesn't preclude the stock from being one of the industry's more attractive investments.Pinterest went public in mid-April, and the IPO was a big success. With good reason. The fundamentals here are very good. You have a company that has a bigger U.S. user base than Twitter, and a rapidly growing international user base that is on track to be bigger than Twitter, too. Yet, Twitter has a $27 billion market cap. Pinterest has a $12 billion market cap.To be sure, the discrepancy is because Twitter currently monetizes its users at a higher rate than Pinterest, and converts those revenues to profits at a higher operating margin. But, Pinterest just started monetizing recently, and it's only a matter of time before its ARPU rates hit Twitter levels. It's also only a matter of time before margins get to or above Twitter levels, too, considering the company has near 70% gross margins.All in all, then, Pinterest appears dramatically undervalued here and now given its favorable fundamentals. The market won't let this undervaluation persist forever. As such, the opening day success of the Pinterest IPO should reasonably flow into 2019 full-year success. Amazon (AMZN)Source: Shutterstock Arguably the hottest player in the digital ad world right now is a company that isn't traditionally known for digital advertising -- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).The story here is simple. Thanks to being one of the world's largest e-commerce platforms, Amazon is also one of the most-visited websites in the world. Peer highly visited websites are supported by huge digital ad businesses. Amazon isn't. But, there's no reason they can't be, given the company's huge digital traffic volume and wealth of consumer purchasing data. Consequently, Amazon is rapidly transforming into an exceptionally relevant digital ad player. * 7 No-Load Mutual Funds to Buy This transformation is a big positive for Amazon stock. Not only does it help reinvigorate overall revenue growth rates, which are being dragged down by slowing e-commerce growth, but it also provides a huge boost to profits since digital ad margins are significantly higher than e-commerce margins. Broadly, then, Amazon's push into digital ads should create a huge profit surge in 2019. That surge should push Amazon stock meaningfully higher this year. Walmart (WMT)Source: Shutterstock Flying under the radar in the digital ad world is traditional retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT).Right now, Walmart doesn't really have a digital ad presence. But, that's about to change. The company just bought ad tech firm Polymorph Labs, shortly after the WSJ ran a piece saying that Walmart is chasing Amazon for ad dollars. In sum, these actions basically say that Walmart is following in the footsteps of Amazon, and leveraging its giant e-commerce reach to build a scalable digital ad business.The implications are likewise favorable for Walmart. The company will get a revenue boost from new digital ad revenue, and a margin and profit boost, too. Ultimately, those boosts will lead to WMT stock staying on a winning path.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long GOOG, FB, TWTR, PINS, AMZN and WMT. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Tech Stocks With Too Much Risk, Not Enough Upside * 7 Companies That Are Closing the CEO-Worker Wage Gap * 7 Video Game ETFs That Will Make You a Winner Compare Brokers The post 7 Digital Ad Stocks That Deserve Your Attention Right Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Tech companies are about to hit competition they can’t shake: Their slightly younger selves. Get ready for the phrase “tough compare” to be muttered by dozens of executives and analysts as earnings season hits high gear this week, because growth was so strong in 2018 that 2019 is bound to look bad by comparison. The first quarter for tech is often slower after the holiday rush, but not last year, when semiconductor companies flourished selling suddenly scarce memory and crypto-mining chips and profit was easy to find even in the famously profit-averse internet sector amid the tax-cut windfall.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), a tech colossus and one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street, is up 22% in 2019. Microsoft stock, which has recently seen a 52-week high at $123.52, is expected to release earnings on Apr. 24, after the close.Source: Shutterstock I believe that the strong performance of MSFT stock has been based on robust fundamentals, which I expect to continue in the rest of the year. With earnings season in full swing, let us look at the catalysts that are likely to provide tailwinds to the MSFT stock price. What to Watch for From Microsoft's EarningsAs one of the world's leading technology companies, Microsoft offers a wide range of software products, services and devices, as well as online advertising to a global audience.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn its upcoming earnings report, Microsoft shareholders will pay special attention to three segments: * Productivity and business processes (includes its Office and Dynamics product lines, and LinkedIn platform) * Intelligent cloud (encompasses the company's server products, cloud services and enterprise services offerings) * Personal computing (includes Windows licensing revenue, Xbox-related gaming revenue and revenue from its Surface family of products and PC accessories)Overall, each segment is an important contributor to the company's bottom line and mostly eye-popping figures. When Microsoft reported its Q2 results on Jan. 30, it posted gains in revenue and earnings, buoyed especially by strong growth in its cloud-based services. The tech giant delivered $32.5 billion in quarterly revenue.This week, investors will want to see if there is any growth fatigue at the high-profile tech company. The tech giant is expected to report $1-per-share on revenue of $29.84 billion; the reported earnings-per-share for the same quarter in 2018 was 95 cents.Microsoft stock is momentum-driven, hence it usually experiences big price swings after reporting earnings. In other words, it can easily gap up if the numbers are better than expected, or if the numbers disappoint, the stock can easily gap down, too. * 10 Best Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever Microsoft Stock Has Excellent Long-Term Growth MetricsThe recent rise in Microsoft stock price shows that Wall Street believes in the company's growth narrative. MSFT now trades at about 29 times analysts' consensus 2019 earnings estimate. Let us look at how each of the above segments may continue to add to Microsoft's future growth as well as the stock price.Segment-wise, the earning report of Jan. 2018 showed that Microsoft's productivity and business processes revenue increased 13% to $10.1 billion. Investors also cheered the growth in LinkedIn's advertising and premium memberships numbers. Microsoft had acquired the social networking platform in 2016 for $26.2 billion. LinkedIn, whose revenue increased 33%, now has over 600 million total users and over 260 million monthly active users (MAUs). In other words, the deal is paying off well for Microsoft.In its January earnings report, the company's intelligent cloud segment got the majority of attention and for good reason. Revenue rose 20% to $9.4 billion. Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) data analytics platform, is now the world's second fastest growing cloud platform behind Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS platform.Azure's 76% growth on a year-over-year basis indicates that Microsoft is gaining market share in one of the most important growth industries of the coming decade. Azure continues to incorporate applications that businesses that store data on Microsoft cloud also find valuable, including those driven by AI data analytics. In other words, Microsoft customers can use these AI algorithms to analyze data better so that their own bottom lines improve. Furthermore, the gross margin of the commercial cloud business has been increasing steadily over the past quarters -- a trend investors hope will continue.Microsoft's personal computing segment showed some weakness in the latest earnings numbers. Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said that the revenue from copies of Windows software sold pre-installed on PCs fell 5%, as a result of a shortage of microprocessors. However, going forward, Wall Street is estimating relative stability in this segment. On a brighter note, gaming was a strong area in the sector and it is likely to remain so.Over the next five years, analysts on average expect Microsoft to grow earnings at an annual rate of 12.35% -- another reason why most Wall Street analysts are very positive on MSFT stock. In general, the company has been consistent in beating analysts' EPS and revenue estimates.Creating growth opportunities in the highly competitive tech space requires proactive management. And that's where one of Microsoft's strengths may lie. Under its CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has managed to move to a business model that centers around subscription-based products and services with regularly recurring revenue.And shareholders in this elite business, who also enjoy a 1.5% dividend yield, have been particularly rewarded. As a primarily subscription-based business, Microsoft now has a stable cash flow, another positive factor to consider for dividend investors. Short-Term Technical Analysis Over the past year, Microsoft stock is up almost 28%. Due to the recent impressive run-up in the stock price, short-term technical indicators have become somewhat over-extended. Investors who pay attention to short-term oscillators should note that Microsoft's technical message has also become "overbought."So, following its earnings report, there might be some profit taking in Microsoft stock. It's likely that a lot of good news has already been priced into the stock price. Microsoft stock's beta is 1.21, which means its volatility on average is 20% higher than that of the broader market. Therefore, if the industry or the overall market declines as other companies release earnings, the MSFT stock price may also be adversely affected. * 7 Strong Buy Stocks the Street Loves Several of Microsoft's competitors include Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM). Therefore, as the market reacts to news and earnings numbers from any of these companies, MSFT's share price is likely to become choppy, too.If you already own Microsoft stock, you might want to hold your position. That said, if you are worried about short-term profit taking, then within the parameters of your portfolio allocation and risk/return profile, you may consider placing a stop loss at about 3-5% below the current price point, to protect your profits to-date.If you are an experienced investor in the options market, you may also consider using a covered call strategy with an approximately two-month time horizon. In that case, you may, for example, buy 100 shares of MSFT at a limit price of $123.37 (closing price on Apr. 19) and, at the same time, sell a MSFT June 21 $125 call option, which currently trades at $3.20.The $125 option is slightly out-of-the-money, offering some downside protection in case of volatility and a decline in MSFT stock. This call option would stop trading on June 21, 2019, and expire on June 22.I would not advocate bottom-picking in case of near-term price weakness. Yet, I find MSFT stock to be a compelling buy candidate and by the end of 2020, I'd expect the shares to reach $140. In other words, it's still a good time to be bullish on Microsoft. The Bottom Line on MSFT StockAs Microsoft gets ready to release its quarterly results this week, investors who are seeking capital appreciation should keep in mind the company's dominant position in the cloud sector. Earnings are likely to catalyze Microsoft stock in the coming months, but just as crucial is the visionary stature of management vis a vis its technology peers. I believe that MSFT is on solid track to reach a $1 trillion valuation in the coming months.As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Tech Stocks With Too Much Risk, Not Enough Upside * 7 Companies That Are Closing the CEO-Worker Wage Gap * 7 Video Game ETFs That Will Make You a Winner Compare Brokers The post Microsoft Stock Is Still One of the Best to Buy and Hold Forever appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The debate continues whether to hold Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock forever or trade it as it gyrates in the short-term. Even as mighty as it is now there are almost as many analysts who rate the stock as a BUY or HOLD. But none of them have a SELL rating on it, so it is always an opportunity to own Apple stock if you want to hold it long enough.Source: Shutterstock So the right answer lies somewhere in between and totally depends on the investor time frame. The long-term thesis of AAPL is viable for as long as the stock market is a rising investment vehicle. But I also believe in trying to maximize profits wherever and whenever possible from short-term opportunities along the way.First, let's consider the bullish thesis for Apple stock. Year-to-date, it is up 30%, which is almost double that of the S&P 500. In five years it is up 150%, three times the S&P. So clearly the proof is in the pudding as they say.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsAlthough I am not a fan of the products for myself, I do respect that they are beautiful and functional. This is a matter of taste as I've always leaned towards PC and Android systems. But what I respect most about AAPL stock is the hold the company has on its clients. * 10 Best Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever AAPL clientele is the most dedicated I've ever seen to a company. Price is never a problem for the users, and they gladly admit that they are stuck in its eco-system. Clearly, it has a sustainable advantage.Now for the bad part. What I like the least about Apple stock long term is that its fate is in the hands of Tim Cook. The experts praise him for increasing the value of the company since he took it over. While it's impossible to prove, it is very likely that AAPL stock would have succeeded just the same even without a leader at the helm.And therein lies part of the opportunity today. While Apple is still is a cash generating machine and the stock remains a BUY for a few years to come, I can use it to profit short term. I can snipe technical opportunities under the pretext of a longer thesis.Apple reports earnings at the end of the month. Usually AAPL stock rallies into the event, but after it's a binary reaction to the results. So the opportunity for the trade started the day they announced a settlement with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). The Best Way to Approach Apple StockI took advantage of the opportunity intra-day. Apple stock suddenly spiked on volume before the actual announcement. Some on Wall Street knew the news before it happened. I went long the stock and the trade has been a big win already, but it is not done yet.So I will hold my position long into its earnings report. AAPL is likely to spin a positive story from the QCOM settlement. And with the size of its profit and loss statement, they can back it up. Tim Cook has become a spin doctor of late and there is no reason to doubt his promises yet.The consensus is that Apple is lagging in important areas, especially on the transition to 5G. But they will probably guide well enough to reignite hope for the fans. We all know they're going to crush it as they always do. And this time they can even hide any iPhone sales weakness since they no longer report unit sales. This makes it hard for critics to find a single reason to sell the event. The balance sheet and its P&L are large enough that it will be very easy to hide any weaknesses in one particular segment. * 7 No-Load Mutual Funds to Buy The fundamental reason to own Apple stock is easy. This is the premier company on the planet and it has the financial statements to back it up. And it sells at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14, which is the cheapest of the technology mega caps. The fact that Walt Street doesn't give AAPL stock its due is a tradition, so that alone is not a reason to own it for a specific period of time. Luckily this time, going into the earnings report AAPL also has a short-term technical spark.Last week, AAPL stock triggered a bullish chart pattern that should target $220 per share. While nothing is guaranteed, there is a high chance that it reaches it soon. This either happens going into the earnings, or Tim Cook will surprise investors with a strong report card that would finish this pattern.Today's trade is tactically designed to capture the price action around one event. But also long-term, AAPL is a stock to own, so it will eventually get to my target in case this short-term trigger fails to fill its upside potential on this run.Once AAPL stock crossed the $200 per share zone it triggered a buy signal that should invite buyers of the stock for an additional $20 per share. Along the way, there will be areas of resistance but also open gaps that will be magnetic.It is important to note that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) reports first this week and AAPL could move in sympathy with it. This is also be a binary outcome to add to the short-term uncertainty.Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him as @racernic on Twitter and Stocktwits. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Tech Stocks With Too Much Risk, Not Enough Upside * 7 Companies That Are Closing the CEO-Worker Wage Gap * 7 Video Game ETFs That Will Make You a Winner Compare Brokers The post Apple Stock Has Plenty More Room to Run appeared first on InvestorPlace.
IQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ) stock has trended down for the last two months. The uncertainty brought about by the U.S.-China trade war has added to the pain. As a result, iQiyi stock has not gained the traction of many of its American tech counterparts.Source: Shutterstock InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsiQiyi claims it wants to become more like Disney (NYSE:DIS). However, IQ must first overcome its near-term challenges before it can achieve a "Disney-like" status.IQ stock still trades more than 50% below its highs of last June. In the last ten months, many Chinese stocks, even those like iQiyi stock which have little direct relationship to the U.S., have fallen significantly.On Feb. 22, IQ stock rose by almost 22% after it reported its fourth-quarter revenue and earnings which beat analysts' consensus expectations. However, since that day, it has steadily fallen back to the levels at which it was trading before the earnings announcement. * 7 Healthy Dividend Stocks to Buy for Extra Stability iQiyi Prefers Comparisons to Disney, Not NetflixMany like to compare iQiyi to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). However, Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube (at least when it actively developed more premium content) serves as a more accurate comparison. Unlike Netflix, YouTube and IQ depend on advertising revenue. The latter company, however, has decided it wants the public to think of it as China's Disney.But it will take decades to determine whether IQ can become the "Disney of China." Most owners of IQ stock won't hold their shares long enough to see IQ become like DIS, if it ever does.For now, iQiyi needs to worry about turning a profit and then building an imposing content library. Both milestones will take large amounts of time and money, as IQ's peers have already discovered. The tremendous expense of content has begun to weigh on Netflix, and Disney has a decades-long head start in the content-development realm. Multiples, Overall Economy Will Drive IQ Stock for NowTwo other issues for IQ stock are economic cycles and the mood of investors. Traders ran up the value of Netflix even though it took years to achieve profitability.The market has not shown the same patience for IQ. IQ stock trades at 3.4 times its sales and 6.2 times its book value. Few would call such multiples "outrageous." Both multiples also come in well below the price-sales and price-book-multiples of Netflix. However, IQ stock has to deal with obstacles that Netflix did not face.For one, the ADR status of IQ stock adds to its uncertainty. American investors cannot legally own iQiyi stock directly and have to settle for a proxy representing the company. Moreover, the economic expansion has reached its 11th year. Some think there's a high chance of a recession. During recessions, investors become wary of all stocks with high valuations.Also,the Chinese economy has declined in the wake of the trade war. If the U.S. and China finally work out an agreement, IQ stock would likely rise in the short term. However, traders have to remember that American investors trade IQ stock. If U.S. traders feel a recession will happen soon, they likely will not enable iQiyi stock to reach high multiples. The Bottom Line on IQ StockOwners of IQ stock need to focus on the company's near-term challenges, not whether the company can become the next Disney. It has already become apparent that IQ stock will likely not achieve Netflix-like valuations. However, iQiyi has not been as much like Netflix as many thought. Even IQ now says it wants to become more like Disney than NFLX.However, it took decades to build Disney into the media empire it has become today. For now, IQ needs to worry about turning a profit while expanding its content library. The owners of IQ stock need to figure out if and when Wall Street will take the equity to higher levels. With its failure to achieve Netflix-like multiples and fears of a recession looming, now is likely not IQ's time.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 5 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees * 7 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Isn't Over Yet * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Compare Brokers The post IQiyi Stock Won't Be the Next Disney Stock Anytime Soon appeared first on InvestorPlace.
CEO Elon Musk is a big believer in his company's autonomous driving program and what its future can bring to the roads. Autonomous driving has its doubters and a public that is quite shy of the new technology. Add Tesla and its detractors to the mix and it's sure to become a wide-ranging discussion.
Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) stock has started off 2019 in great fashion with back-to-back FDA approvals. In February, the U. S. FDA granted clearance for Ion, and in March it cleared da Vinci SP for certain transoral ear, nose, and throat procedures.Source: Jon Fingas via Flickr (Modified)There have been concerns over big tech firms like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) entering the space , but ISRG stock has decidedly shaken off those worries. It's also shaken off competition from other medical-device companies. * 7 Healthy Dividend Stocks to Buy for Extra Stability In 2019, ISRG stock has outperformed the competition--namely, Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT)--handily. MDT made a play to enter the space via its acquisition of Mazor Robotics last fall. Maybe MDT finally caught a glimpse into the future and realized it was going to fall behind without a drastic move in the robotics space. But this is Intuitive's court, and Medtronic is playing catch up.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe performance of ISRG stock says it all. Year-to-date, ISRG stock is up 10.5% and MDT is down 7.5%. Over the past five years, the outperformance is even more stark, proving that the market rewards innovation. ISRG stock is up an astounding 1342% during that period (as of Apr. 17), versus MDT's gain of just 48%. New Approvals Boost ISRG StockThe Ion endoluminal system has changed lung-cancer diagnosis. Doctors can now conduct minimally invasive biopsies in the peripheral lung. With the Ion system's flexible biopsy needle (called the Flexision Biopsy Needle), ISRG's technology can now access small, difficult locations in lung lesions and improve doctors' abilities to make a lung cancer diagnosis.We know that early diagnosis can save lives, and ISRG's robotic-assisted system shows how effective ISRG is in developing innovative, minimally invasive solutions and how it is extending its focus beyond surgery.The second milestone for Intuitive came on the heels of the approval of Ion; ISRG's da Vinci surgical system was approved for use in certain transoral ear,nose and throat procedures in adults. Ion provides surgeons with the ability to access deep and narrow tissue in the body through just a single, small incision.Ion utilizes a multi-jointed, wristed instruments and a fully wristed 3D HD camera. There are countless YouTube videos worth watching of the system assisting surgeons, making operations less invasive and more efficient.Ion is groundbreaking. ISRG Stock Has Momentum From ISRG's Strong Fourth QuarterISRG had an indisputably strong Q4, as its revenue rose 17% year-over-year, crossing the billion-dollar mark. The revenue jump was driven by increases in both procedures and systems sales.During the quarter, instrument and accessory revenue jumped 18% to over half a billion dollars. The volume of Da Vinci procedures grew 19% YoY. After the FDA approval for the product's use in ear, nose and throat procedures in adults this year, investors can expect to see sustained growth, propelled by new applications for the company's core da Vinci technology.In Q4, ISRG shipped 290 da Vinci Surgical Systems compared to 216 in Q4 of 2017. Not only is there more demand for the product, but surgeons are also using it more often. Worldwide, the number of da Vinci procedures grew approximately 19% year-over-year. Expect ISRG to keep posting double-digit growth figures in those areas. ISRG Stock Will Continue to RiseISRG continues to be the leader of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. The performance of ISRG stock has been wonderful and will continue to bolster investors' portfolios.ISRG's fundamentals look excellent, and the significant momentum behind the rise of ISRG stock should continue. Demand for its da Vinci technology doesn't show any sign of slowing, as the rapid growth of the elderly population increases demand for surgical procedures.Expect continued growth in the number of shipments of the da Vinci surgical system and further FDA approvals of new procedures assisted by ISRG's products.As of this writing, Luce Emerson did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 5 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees * 7 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Isn't Over Yet * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Compare Brokers The post Intuitive Surgical Stock Is the Best MedTech Company to Buy and Hold appeared first on InvestorPlace.