AAPL - Apple Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
-3.07 (-1.49%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT

203.80 +1.21 (0.60%)
Pre-Market: 8:43AM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close205.66
Bid203.40 x 4000
Ask204.39 x 900
Day's Range202.36 - 206.50
52 Week Range142.00 - 233.47
Avg. Volume26,711,182
Market Cap932.133B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.09
PE Ratio (TTM)17.04
EPS (TTM)11.89
Earnings DateJul 30, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield3.08 (1.50%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-05-10
1y Target Est211.32
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    Earnings season is in full swing, and Wall Street’s top analysts are getting busy re-evaluating stocks ahead of the quarterly releases. Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is one of these, having just received an upgrade from Raymond James. This upgrade comes in the face of mixed expectations on earnings and the business outlook; and so now let’s take a closer analysis of the tug-of-war between the bears and bulls on AAPL. The Earnings SituationApple-watchers know what to expect in the two key bottom-line numbers – revenues are expected to come in at $53.4 billion, about the same as last year’s Q3, while EPS is projected at $2.10, a 10% drop from a year ago. Apple’s Services segment showed 16% growth last quarter, and is expected to show further growth for fiscal Q3. Apple has been pushing hard to promote established offerings like App Store, iCloud, and Apple Music, while building expectations on new products like Apple Card, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade.The full-court press on Services is part of Apple’s strategy to offset slowing iPhone sales.  The flagship mobile device has been buffeted by a series of demand hits in the past year or so, including: customer complaints about slow modems; the drawn-out legal battle of Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), over modem chips, that was only resolved this past spring; multiple issues in China, including increased competition from Chinese handset makers and the simmering US-Chinese trade tensions.While iPhone made up 63% of Apple’s revenue in the last quarter, management knows that its iconic product is on a downswing and is taking action. In addition to pushing Services, the company is streamlining and promoting its iMac, iPad, and Wearables lines. As CEO Tim Cook said back in January, “If you sort of back up and look at Apple, in our last fiscal year, we had $100 billion of revenue that was not iPhone... And in this last quarter, if you take everything outside of iPhone, it grew at 19 percent.”The main questions for Apple investors approaching the Q3 earnings are, will the boost to non-iPhone revenue streams increase quickly enough to effectively counter the slip in handset sales; and, can iPhone recover sufficiently to hold its market share niche in a maturing smartphone environment? The answers to those questions, especially the second, brings us to the analyst reviews and Apple’s recent upgrade. First, the Bear CasesIn recent days, the analysts have been pulling both ways on AAPL. The bearish case is set forth by Nomura’s Jeffrey Kvaal and Goldman Sachs’ Rod Hall. Looking at the just-finished June quarter, Kvaal says to have “low expectations for the impending iPhone cycle and do not expect Apple's new services to add materially to earnings. However, the company's ecosystem and buyback program remain strong.”Hall takes a similar view, saying that Services boosts in the spring were derived mainly from two successful game launches in China. He writes, “We believe that increased growth in App Store revenues in March/April/May was likely driven by the launches of Perfect World and Game for Peace (PUBG)… we calculate that the persistence of weaker June growth in the September FQ4 would drive another 1.1pp of downside to our Services growth estimate.”While both of these analysts are bearish on AAPL, both have also raised their price targets on the stock. Kvaal sets his at $180, Hall at $187. Both are well below the current trading price. Checking in with the BullsThe bullish news this week for Apple is the ratings upgrade from Raymond James.  Analyst Chris Caso took a forward-looking stance on the stock, basing his upgrade not on this year’s performance but on “the impact of a 5G iPhone product cycle in 2020.”He sees Apple gaining materially from its recent settlement with Qualcomm. While the settlement included a lump-sum payment from Apple to the chipmaker, it also resolved the patent dispute and allowed Apple access to Qualcomm’s high-quality modem chips.  During the course of the dispute, Apple had fallen back on Intel Corporation’s (INTC) chips, and customers had noticed – and complained about – the difference. It’s a hazard of building a niche on a devoted fan base.Expanding on this in his note, Caso said: “Our call may well be early – we expect this year’s iPhone cycle to be the weakest in years, and today may not be the right time to buy ahead of that weakness… But since the near-term market moves are being driven by macro conditions as much as fundamentals, we’ve decided to upgrade now and let our clients decide the best time to execute on our idea.”In line with this general optimism on Apple’s longer-term outlook, Caso upgraded his rating to ‘buy’ and set a $250 price target. His price target, significantly higher than other analysts’, suggests an upside potential of 23% for AAPL shares.Caso is not alone in taking the bull stance on AAPL. Merrill Lynch’s Wamsi Mohan has long maintained a buy rating on the stock, and recently reiterated it, along with this $230 price target. He based his rating on third part sales data showing “F3Q19 App Store revenue is ~$3.9bn (+18% y/y). This represents a slight acceleration from F2Q growth of 17%.” Mohan’s price target is indicative of a 13% upside.Five-star blogger D.M. Martins Research also sees long-term positive trends ahead for Apple. Laying out a detailed bull case, the blogger concludes: “I believe AAPL continues to be a solid investment. In fact, I have recently called it ‘my FAAMG stock for the rest of 2019.’ Justifying my optimism is the company's long-term prospects, which I believe to be promising yet discounted for short-term worries over trade policy and global economic deceleration.“More specifically, I see in the more stable and predictable services revenue growth and the success of new device form factors, including the Watch and other wearable products…” The Bottom LineApple has shown strong growth in the past year, with the 29% share price gains outpacing both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indexes, but the company has faced dangerous headwinds, too. To a large extent, Apple management has been able to manage the expectations over the past six months, lower the bar, and then beat the lowered expectations, but that strategy may be running its course.The result, as seen above, is mixed reviews. Respected analysts are lining up on both the bull and bear sides for this stock, and there are strong cases made in both directions. The analyst consensus, however, remains bullish on Apple. AAPL shares get a moderate buy rating, based on 20 buys, 14 holds, and 2 sells assigned in the past three months. Shares are trading for $202, so the $215 average price target implies a 6.36% upside potential.Disclosure: This author is long on AAPL.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc.’s biggest earnings surprise in years sent the shares plummeting the day after results were released, leaving analysts and investors wondering why they were caught so off guard.When some companies know that their quarterly results are going to fall short of forecasts, they put out a pre-announcement or update their guidance. But not Netflix.Instead, the company dropped a bombshell with no warning: Its customer growth was roughly half what it projected, and Netflix actually lost U.S. subscribers during the period. That hasn’t happened since 2011, when the company made a disastrous attempt to split up its streaming and DVD-by-mail operations.The fallout on Thursday included the worst stock rout in three years, with the stock declining 10% to erase more than $16 billion in market value. Shares in Netflix extended those declines on Friday, falling 3.1% to $315.10 per share, their lowest since January. The stock has fallen for seven consecutive sessions, the longest losing streak in nearly four years.“You would think Netflix would want to update guidance or give a pre-annoucement, as I’m sure they definitely knew about this for a while,” said Nick Licouris, an investment adviser at Gerber Kawasaki. “But they probably didn’t want to do it because they were going to take a hit at that time or during earnings -- especially since subscriber numbers are the No. 1 thing analysts look at -- and in earnings you can spin it better than a stand-alone announcement.”Not Necessary?Another reason not to issue a warning: The company met most of Wall Street’s financial estimates, such as sales and profit. It was only the subscriber numbers that really came up short.“Revenue was very close to guidance and profits were actually above, so I’d guess they didn’t think it was necessary to pre-announce a weak sub number when other financial metrics were fine,” said Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.There’s also been a broader shift away from giving earnings warnings, said Huber Research Partners founder Craig Huber.“I have noticed companies in media and internet that I follow do not seem to pre-announce pending negative results with the same regularity as years ago,” he said.Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, didn’t have an immediate comment.The streaming giant’s tight-lipped culture extends beyond earnings. Unlike traditional media companies, it’s very selective about the viewer information it provides. Third parties try to fill the gaps by providing their own data on Netflix’s audience, but that can prove to be unreliable.Third-Party ServicesThose kinds of data services failed to predict the latest shortfall, Wolfe Research analyst Marci Ryvicker said in a note.“For several days,” she said, “investors told us ‘such-and-such data service suggests domestic adds will come in line; while international might be somewhat soft.’ Wrong. I mean -- right in the sense that international was soft but totally wrong on the domestic subs part.”Netflix remains the dominant paid video streaming service, with its sights set on international expansion to counter slowing growth at home. But rising competition abroad -- such as a U.K. streaming venture announced Friday between ITV Plc and the BBC -- could challenge that growth as well.Netflix also delivers its earnings in an idiosyncratic way. Instead of doing a traditional Q&A conference call, the company releases an “earnings interview” on YouTube with a single analyst. It also issues its reports on its website, not through the paid services that many companies use to disseminate information.Though this week’s stock rout was especially severe, it’s common for Netflix’s earnings to spark a huge share move. The average change on the day after quarterly reports is almost 13%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Compare that with Apple Inc., where it’s 4.4%. Or Microsoft Corp., where it’s 4.1%.There’s another explanation for the huge swings in Netflix’s stock: overreaction. That was the message from Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings this week. It’s easy to “overinterpret” subscriber figures, he said.“Sometimes we are forecast high, sometimes we forecast low,” he said. “We’re just executing forward and trying to do the best forecast we can.”(Closes shares in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Morwenna Coniam.To contact the reporters on this story: Kamaron Leach in New York at kleach6@bloomberg.net;Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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