146.00 +0.80 (0.55%)
After hours: 6:30PM EDT
|Bid||145.50 x 1400|
|Ask||145.20 x 800|
|Day's Range||143.59 - 147.97|
|52 Week Range||103.29 - 198.99|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Jul 31, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||166.85|
iHeartMedia (IHRT), the 1 audio media company in the US, has emerged from bankruptcy and its ownership is now available to the public on the NASDAQ exchange. The debt owners have taken over the firm in a restructuring plan that wiped more than $10 billion in debt off the books.
Hardware becoming software is one of the key trends of this decade. As Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) prepares to refresh its product line for the fall of 2019, it is selling its software as a lifestyle.Source: Shutterstock The key product launch investors need to consider is the Apple Card, the company's entry into finance.While Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) wants to create its own money and replace the current Visa (NYSE:V)-dominated payment infrastructure with something cheaper, Apple Card is a gloss on MasterCard (NYSE:MA), with personal finance delivered through an app and integration with existing wireless payment technology.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsApple is also throwing money at original content, hoping to overwhelm Spotify (NASDAQ:SPOT) in podcasts and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in streaming entertainment. * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now Apple's strategy is coming into focus. It's a lifestyle and an indenture. It's a walled garden where, in exchange for promises of privacy, Apple controls everything you have, including your cash flow. The Biggest iOS LaunchApple's biggest product launch is now going through its final beta test, iOS 12.4 beta 7. Its successor, iOS 13, was announced at the June Worldwide Developer's Conference.The key new feature supported by 12.4 is the Apple Card, on which Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) estimates it has spent nearly $275 million, transforming itself from an investment bank into a consumer bank. The card itself is designed around the app, with daily cash rewards and full integration with the Apple Wallet to track spending.The card is thus meant to change behavior, which now favors physical debit cards for most transactions. The potential bonanza here is enormous. People who pay off their cards spend an average of $1,154 with them each month, and the average user carries $6,354 of credit card debt. Goldman expects to offer $1,000 in credit to those with credit scores as low as 600, and charge Apple Card customers interest rates of 13%-24% on balances. Apple's Ho-Hum HardwareWith the next iPhone already being called a clunker, Apple has to extract more from software and services to maintain last year's 15% growth rate, with 22% of revenue hitting the net income line.The iPhone 11 design itself looks like a greatest hits album from previous iterations. Its main improvement is a bigger battery. The same is true for the latest MacBook, which only received minor tweaks on existing designs.But the hardware is the center of a software ecosystem that brings Apple profit from every corner of a customer's life. Software and services are more profitable than hardware.This extends to the Apple Watch. Given how many stores had the watch at clearance prices this month, including the Apple Watch 4, an Apple Watch 5 can't be far off. But the hardware isn't likely to change much. It will just be capable of running more software, especially health software. Health will follow cash into the Apple profit column.Critics worry the emphasis on service revenue will compromise the user experience. But people who believe in Apple tend to go all-in. The most important point about the iPhone's market share is its stability. They have half of the U.S. market and over one-fifth of the global market. The Bottom LineAn Android is a phone, a utility that offers unlimited choice. An iPhone is a lover, seducing and then demanding increasing loyalty.Once you're in the Apple ecosystem, the company wants to make it a lifestyle, handling your money, your entertainment, even your health.That's CEO Tim Cook's bet, that Apple products can be more than phones or watches or PCs, but a lifestyle for those seduced by its design and brand promise.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of a new environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in AAPL. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now * The 10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Keep on Your Radar * 7 Marijuana Penny Stocks That Could Triple (But You Won't Make Money) The post AAPL Stock: Apple Software Becomes Lifestyle appeared first on InvestorPlace.
One of the most prominent Silicon Valley VC firms, known for being among the backers of Google, Slack and Spotify, is reconfirming its interest in a local early-stage startup by pouring more capital in a newly announced round of funding.
The Disney Hub, as the companies are calling the new feature, places soundtracks from Disney's animated films, Marvel movies, "Star Wars" and other Disney properties in one place. Disney's catalog already has a strong presence on Spotify with fans spending more than 2 billion combined minutes so far in 2019 streaming soundtracks, musicals and more.
It's no secret that more and more of us are in love with our streaming entertainment from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT). But for today's investors it's time to subscribe to a pairs trade in NFLX stock and SPOT, where emerging trends on the price charts are taking center stage for bears and bulls. Let me explain.Source: Shutterstock Once again, it's that time of year where corporate confessionals are taking the spotlight. Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) are stealing much of the early headlines with a bevy of earnings reports this week out of the financial sector. But banking stocks are far from the only show in town.Streaming video on demand or SVOD giant NFLX reports Wednesday night. And not terribly far behind, Spotify, the world's largest online music platform will release its results later this month.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFor NFLX stock, consensus views compiled from 40 investment firms are forecasting profits of 56 cents compared to year-ago results of 85 cents. Sales are expected to grow to $4.9 billion from 2018's revenues of $3.9 billion. On July 31, when Spotify reports, 27 analysts expect the company to whittle down last year's quarterly loss of $2.57 to 46 cents per share. Meanwhile, sales are estimated to grow from $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion. * 10 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy to Pay the Bills Whether results from Netflix or Spotify will stray, good or bad, isn't known of course. Still, price action has been known to lead publicly disseminated information. And with earnings acting as a catalyst for continued momentum, subscribing to a pairs trade in emerging bearish and bullish trends in NFLX stock and SPOT looks like a good tactic today. Short NFLX Stock Click to EnlargeThere are potential reasons to be bearish on Netflix beyond headlines of password sharing problems or competition from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and others spending billions on original content to uproot Netflix's dominant SVOD position. The concern is the NFLX price chart.Five months of lagging, high-level lateral work and two failed attempts at breaking out of the base locked in-between key Fibonacci levels doesn't look good for Netflix bulls. Backing that worry, NFLX stock's stochastics has been bearishly diverging during the pattern's construction and is currently setting up for lower prices in shares.NFLX Stock Strategy: With NFLX stock confirming a lower pivot high within the base, shorting NFLX stock today looks compelling. But given the close proximity of earnings, I'd go to the Netflix options market and use a below market bear put spread to minimize and limit risk while allowing for out-sized profits from an emerging and much larger corrective move. Long SPOT Stock Click to EnlargeShares of SPOT stock have been anything but music to the ears of most investors relying on a buy-and-hold strategy. One of last year's hot IPO's, SPOT came under pressure a couple months into its life as a publicly traded company and continued to make new lows and lead the market lower during 2018's broad-based correction.But 2019 has been a solid one for Spotify with shares up about 30%. What's more, Spotify's technical fortunes just turned for the better. This week, shares of SPOT have narrowly broken out to new relative highs above resistance. The price action on the weekly chart points to an emerging uptrend in a down, but far from out leader in today's world of music. * 7 Best Stocks to Buy That Make a Student's Life Easier SPOT Stock Strategy: Ideally, I'd like to see stochastics not positioned in overbought territory. But as a stock well-suited for momentum, overbought conditions can easily beget more of the same. And with earnings still a couple weeks out, buying SPOT stock today and legging into a bullish protective strategy like a married put in front of the report is how I'd look to play Spotify.Disclosure: Investment accounts under Christopher Tyler's management do not own positions in any securities mentioned in this article. The information offered is based upon Christopher Tyler's observations and strictly intended for educational purposes only; the use of which is the responsibility of the individual. For additional options-based strategies, related musings or to ask a question, you can find and follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip * 7 Services Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 6 Stocks to Buy and 1 to Sell Based on Insider Trading The post The Best Way to Play Spotify and Netflix Stock Today appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to its audio service, according to people familiar with the matter, increasing its investment in the industry to keep competitors Spotify and Stitcher at bay.Executives at the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are preliminary. Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before.Apple all but invented the podcasting business with the creation of a network that collects thousands of podcasts from across the internet in a feed on people’s phones, smartwatches and computers. The Apple Podcast app still accounts for anywhere from 50% to 70% of listening for most podcasts, according to industry executives.The news sent shares of Spotify down as much as 2.7% to $150.09 in New York on Tuesday, marking the biggest intraday decline in three weeks. The stock had been up 36% this year through Monday’s close.After years without making substantial changes to its podcasting business, which first launched in 2005, Apple has recently focused on upgrading its app and has added new tools for podcast makers. Still, new entrants have encroached on Apple’s once-indomitable position, attracting new users by offering exclusive access to original podcasts.A representative for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.Podcasts AppApple launched Podcast Analytics last year, rolling out a service that gives podcast makers more insight into their listeners and performance. This year, Apple announced a dedicated Podcasts app for Mac computers and launched a web interface to expand the amount of people who can listen to podcasts through its service.Apple placed executive Oliver Schusser in charge of podcasts and music, with Ben Cave helping oversee the podcasting strategy.“You are nowhere in podcasting if you don’t have shows listed in Apple podcasts,” said Lex Friedman, the chief revenue officer of Art19, which provides services to podcast producers such as Wondery Media and Tribune. But given all of the recent activity by its competition, “it would surprise me if Apple didn’t do anything with exclusives.”Video ServiceApple has refrained from funding podcasts thus far to avoid the perception of playing favorites. But the tech giant has evinced an interest in funding some of the programming it distributes. The company is producing dozens of original TV shows and movies for a new video service called Apple TV+. The first of those series will debut later this year.Spotify Technology SA, already Apple’s largest rival in paid music streaming, has spent about $400 million acquiring podcast companies. It’s also funded original shows from comedian Amy Schumer, journalist Jemele Hill and hip-hop artist Joe Budden. Earlier this year, it announced a deal to host podcasts from a company founded by former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.These moves have established Spotify as the clear No. 2 player in podcasting, according to industry executives. The company has seized between 10% and 20% of listeners, and accounts for half of the audience on some shows. Other companies, including IHeartMedia, Stitcher, Pandora and Luminary, have also devoted more resources to the medium.Apple is in the midst of building a suite of media services across audio and video that tether people to its phones and other devices. Podcasting is still a small business compared with music or TV. Podcasting companies generated $479 million in advertising sales in the U.S. last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.Growing FastBut the industry has been growing. Sales have grown 65% a year for the past three years, according to the IAB, while the number of monthly listeners to podcasts has doubled over the past five years.Still, Apple doesn’t make its own money off of the Podcasts app. It doesn’t charge for the software or run its own advertising.However, growing the Podcasts app and adding exclusives could give some consumers another reason to stick to their iPhone or subscribe to complementary paid services like Apple Music. Apple also has an advertising division focused on ads in the App Store, which theoretically could eventually be applied to Podcasts if it continues to increase its user base.(Updates with Spotify shares in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;Mark Gurman in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Amazon.com Inc. faces a full-blown European Union antitrust probe as the bloc’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager prepares for a summer finale to her five-year crackdown on U.S. technology giants.The Dane, who heads the EU’s competition division, is poised to open a formal investigation into Amazon within days, according to two people familiar with the case, who asked not to be named because the process isn’t public.Vestager has hinted for months that she wanted to escalate a preliminary inquiry into how Amazon may be unfairly using sales data to undercut smaller shops on its Marketplace platform. By ramping up the probe, officials can start to build a case that could ultimately lead to fines or an order to change the way the Seattle-based company operates.“If powerful platforms are found to use data they amass to get an edge over their competitors, both consumers and the market bear the cost,” said Johannes Kleis of BEUC, the European consumer organization in Brussels.The probe comes as Qualcomm Inc. could be hit with a second hefty EU penalty as soon as next week for allegedly underpricing chips to squeeze a smaller competitor. The U.S. chipmaker was fined last year for thwarting rival suppliers to Apple Inc. and has been the subject of on-and-off antitrust scrutiny since 2005.Vestager has already slapped Google with record fines and ordered Apple to repay billions of euros in back taxes. By taking on Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, Vestager is keeping up the pressure on big tech right to the very end of her mandate, due to expire in October.Amazon and the European Commission in Brussels both declined to comment on the plans to open the probe. Qualcomm representatives declined to immediately comment.Business ModelWhile it will be the first time the EU has directly targeted Amazon’s online retail business model, it’s the third time the company has been probed by the regulator, following tax and e-book investigations.Although Google has been fined once a year for the past three years, racking up 8.2 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in penalties, the Alphabet Inc. unit still faces early-stage inquiries into local business and jobs searches. Apple also has to contend with a complaint from Spotify Technology SA and Facebook Inc. is getting questions on how it uses and shares data from apps.To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
“We find that approximately 82% of outstanding credit card balances are debt, or that they are revolved for a month or more,” they write. The numbers are almost as bad even among those with high credit scores, they report. In other words, over half of credit-card balances are part of debt that is being carried for more than 12 months.
Last week's gallery on breakout stocks to buy delivered big-league profits. So we're returning to the well for three more candidates that boast price charts brimming with potential.This week's targets are inspired in large part by the S&P 500, which closed at a new record high of $3,013.77 on Friday. Nothing brings buyers to the yard like a major index touching its highest price in history. It reveals optimism and a risk-on attitude.Last week's demand surge was aided in part by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress that all but confirmed the market's expectation for a rate cut at the upcoming July 31 meeting. Betting markets peg the odds of a quarter-point cut at 72% and a half-point cut at 28%.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy Without further ado, check out these three breakout stocks to buy. 3 Breakout Stocks to Buy: Cisco (CSCO)Source: ThinkorSwim Friday's rally for Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) succeeded where its predecessor did not. Last month's breakout attempt over $57.50 was met with rejection and sharp selling. Friday's bid, however, powered through the ceiling and closed at a new 52-week high.With the gain, CSCO stock officially ended its three-month consolidation zone and signaled that the next stage of its uptrend is upon us. I'd use $60 as the first upside target. It would take a break below the 50-day moving average at $55 to invalidate the bullish backdrop. So until then, the path of least resistance is higher.At 41%, the implied volatility rank is fiddling in the middle of its range. Couple that with earnings coming over the next month, and I think bull call spreads are the way to go.Buy the Sep $57.50/$60 bull call spread for around $1.20. Home Depot (HD)Source: ThinkorSwim Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was one of the best stocks on the board Friday. The retailer surged 2% on heavy volume to a new all-time high. On the technical front, there's nothing not to like about its price action. The 20-day and 50-day moving averages are trending higher to confirm buyers' dominance of the short- and intermediate-term trends.A few accumulation days have cropped up over the past two weeks to signal institutions are wading into the waters. As far as options go, implied volatility is in the basement revealing an utter lack of uncertainty in the stock. That means prices for derivatives are dirt cheap. Long calls and call spreads offer great low-risk, high-reward bets right now. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond If you think the good times continue to roll, then buy the Sep $220/$230 bull call spread for around $3.75. Spotify (SPOT)Source: ThinkorSwim Last week's rally ushered Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) to the cusp of a clear breakout zone. In fact, SPOT stock looks better than at any time since last year's IPO. This summer's recovery pushed shares of the streaming music service back above all its major moving averages for the first time.The base built throughout 2019 should serve as a solid foundation to build an uptrend from if buyers decide to press their advantage here.If SPOT can clear $155, look for a run toward the next ceiling of $170. To capitalize, buy the Oct $160/$170 bull call spread for around $3.30.As of this writing, Tyler Craig didn't hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy * 10 Stocks Driving the Market to All-Time Highs (And Why) * 7 Short Squeeze Stocks With Big Upside Potential The post 3 Breakout Stocks to Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
In the latter part of 2018, bearishness took hold of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock and sent shares to the $150 range as AAPL stock investors took in the news that the company would no longer issue unit sales numbers for its iconic iPhone device.Source: Shutterstock CEO Tim Cook reasoned that subscription and app sales mattered more for profitability. By that logic, Apple could afford to offer less transparency into its business each quarter. Now that the shares have recovered, there are three reasons investors should buy Apple stock. Weaker iPhone Sales ExpectedInvestors have had more than six months to accept that unit sales for iPhones will fall. Average selling price (ASP) is significantly higher with each successive release of the device. And although loyal customers will hold off upgrading to the latest iPhone, their device will stay in the iOS ecosystem. Even if revenue falls, Apple will enjoy healthy profit margins from sales of iPhone 8, X, XR, and XS Max.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsExpect the total profit per user to hold steady or increase, driven by more customers signing up for Apple Music. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had 28 million subscribers, 2 million more than Spotify Technology (NYSE:SPOT). SPOT stock trades at similar price/sales and price/book multiples compared to Apple. Yet Spotify's price/forward cash flow multiple is 75, compared to 20.5 times for Apple. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 Don't forget that Apple recently launched its News App. By sending notifications for timely news, users who use the app often may end up subscribing to the service. In doing so, they get Apple News Plus, which gives users access to premium newspapers and more than 300 digital magazines. Look for Earnings Beat on July 30When Apple reports quarterly earnings on July 30, the company may beat the Q2/2019 EPS estimate of $2.12.Source: TipranksLast year, Apple reported earnings of $2.34, topping the $2.17 estimate. Strong revenues are possible because Apple Music subscription growth is gaining momentum. The iPad and iPad Mini refresh could drive device sales higher. Conversely, the iPad Pro faces stiff competition from Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface book and Surface tablet. Still, Apple has the AirPod, Watch, and HomePod to offset a drop in Pro sales.In the unlikely scenario that AAPL stock falls after reporting strong results, the drop gives investors a chance to average down. Most who invest in Apple are in it for the long term. Viewing short-term drops in the stock as entry points played out well in the last decade. * 10 Stocks to Sell for an Economic Slowdown To be sure, weak iPhone sales could spook investors and send Apple stock lower. Yet if consumers are simply holding off on upgrades in general, Apple is not losing market share. So if users are not leaving the iOS ecosystem for Android, Apple subscription and software sales will return high profits. Service Revenue Will Drive GrowthThe second quarter 2019 saw Apple report its best quarter ever for Services, as revenue topped $11.5 billion. Even as worldwide iPhone revenue fell 17%, Services grew to new heights, with more than 390 million paid subscriptions at the end of March, up 30 million in the last quarter. During 2020, Apple expects to surpass 500 million subscriptions.That is a phenomenal rate of growth. And the strong uptake of Services will include growing App sales. In Q2, the number of paid third-party subscriptions increased by over 40%. Apple has a well-diversified source of revenue from apps; the biggest third-party subscription app accounted for just 0.3% of its total Services revenue.Apple forecast revenue of $52.5 billion - $54.5 billion for the upcoming report for the June quarter. Gross margin will be around 38%. Operating expenditures will be $8.7 billion - $8.8 billion. Your Takeaway on AAPL StockApple is confident about the growing revenue from the product category level. More importantly, it expects iPhone sales improving Y/Y in the upcoming Q3 report. Cash flow generation is so strong that AAPL stock repurchase authorization and its quarterly dividend. A dividend hike is unlikely but if Apple does so, look for Apple stock continuing its uptrend.Disclosure: As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy for Less Than Book * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * The 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond The post 3 Reasons to Buy Apple Stock Ahead of End-of-Month Earnings Report appeared first on InvestorPlace.
“This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept,” Ms Swift wrote. The move, while dramatic, was consistent with Ms Swift’s history. While some of Ms Swift’s younger fans may have been introduced to the concept of master recordings for the first time, she is one of a long lineage of musicians to do battle with the record labels that typically own their work.
Prior to universal access to digital technology, identifying music in restaurants, bars, or stores was difficult to nearly impossible. Founded in 2000, Shazam provided a readily-available solution to music identification.
Sure, Spotify has 100 million paid subscribers, and Apple Music has 60 million. According to Financial Times, the number of people subscribing to Amazon Music Unlimited grew roughly 70 percent in the last year. As of April, Amazon had more than 32 million subscribers across its music services, including Unlimited and Prime Music.
One of the world's largest companies -- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- with one of the biggest net cash balances ever -- $122 billion -- continues to promise that it will be "net cash neutral" over time. That means AAPL still has $122 billion to deploy to buybacks, dividends, acquisitions, investments, so on and so forth.At this point in time, it seems the smartest path forward would be for Apple to use that $122 billion on a big-time acquisition. Recent quarterly numbers underscore that peak iPhone is here.While the company has nice growth initiatives through new hardware like the Apple Watch and services businesses like Apple Pay and the App Store, none of those new initiatives are groundbreaking enough to fully replace what will soon be a flat iPhone business.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThus, Apple can either be a tepid growth business forever going forward, or the company can recharge growth by using its huge net cash balance to acquire a hyper-growth company.The second option sounds far more attractive, and should be the route that optimizes long-term gains for Apple stock.The list of companies Apple could buy is long. The company has enough net cash to essentially acquire any company in the world. But, the list of companies Apple should buy is short. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond Indeed, I think it as short as seven companies. Thus, let's take a look at seven companies that Apple should buy as it aims to be net cash neutral over the next few years. Netflix (NFLX)The most obvious M&A use of Apple's huge net cash balance is an all-in acquisition of streaming giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).Source: Shutterstock No one can really deny the momentum that Netflix has by simply being the brand name in the streaming market. Nor can they deny the huge potential of that market, as the world increasingly cuts the cord and pivots to streaming, or the competitive moat that Netflix has established through quality and diverse original content.Because of these three factors, Netflix promises to be a big growth company for a lot longer. Apple could use that growth. As the hardware business dries up, the company is doubling down on the software business, and that reportedly includes a big dive into streaming and original content.Netflix would give Apple a head-and-shoulders leader in that market. Apple can also afford that growth. Netflix is a $150 billion company. Some cash and some debt could easily fund this acquisition.Overall, Netflix is a highly attractive target for Apple as the latter pivots toward creating software services to monetize the install base. Spotify (SPOT)If Netflix is a "reach for the stars" acquisition, then Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is a much more grounded acquisition target with still promising upside potential.Source: Spotify Spotify is trying to do in the streaming music market what Netflix did in the streaming video market. Granted, there's no original content, so the moat is much smaller. Also, Apple Music is a thing, and it has already dethroned Spotify in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Thus, this acquisition doesn't provide as much firepower or unique assets as a Netflix acquisition.But, it's also much cheaper, at just $20 billion. It would also give Apple complete control over the streaming music market, a position that AAPL could use to its advantage down the road through exclusivity agreements and price hikes. Plus, as mentioned earlier, Apple is pivoting big time into the software side of its business. Spotify fits right into that wheelhouse. * 10 Best ETFs for 2019: The Race for 1 Intensifies Overall, Spotify is a good acquisition target for Apple because the latter needs mobile software growth to offset plateauing hardware growth, and Spotify gives them just that. Disney (DIS)Apple wants to get into the streaming and original content market. But, in order to be successful in that market, Apple needs content. Right now, the company doesn't have any. But, Disney (NYSE:DIS) has a bunch of it, and all those content assets are arguably very undervalued today.Source: Baron Valium via FlickrDisney is a global media company with a brand name that is second to none. The company owns perhaps the most valuable content assets in the world, and between Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar movies, the company dominates the box office every year.The problem with Disney is that, as the world has pivoted to streaming, the company has been slow to catch on, and post box-office content distribution hasn't kept up with the times.Apple is unparalleled in terms of its digital reach to the consumer. Between iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches, most U.S. and global consumers have some digital connection point with Apple.Thus, it should be easy for Apple to push a streaming service (like Disney+ for example). But, AAPL needs the content. Disney has the content, and for only $170 billion (that includes the highly lucrative parks and box office businesses).Overall, Disney is an attractive acquisition target for Apple because, together, the two companies could create a very good streaming service that is rich with content and very easy to access. Tesla (TSLA)A lot of investors and analysts are saying that Apple's last truly revolutionary product was the iPhone, and that here hasn't been a breakthrough product ever since. Now, with the iPhone growth cycle on its last legs, those same analysts and investors are saying that Apple desperately needs to find that next breakthrough product before time runs out.Source: Shutterstock Let's say hello to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). This is a breakthrough company with not just one, but a portfolio of breakthrough products. That portfolio today includes the Model S, Model X and Model 3. Down the road, it will include many more Tesla vehicles, all of which share the same core electric powered characteristic.The benefits to Apple of such an acquisition would be enormous. Apple has been reportedly working on a car for a long time now, but this project hasn't materialized anything substantial to date. Acquiring Tesla would give Apple broad exposure to the auto market. * 10 Best Stocks for 2019: A Volatile First Half Plus, Apple could easily incorporate and integrate its numerous consumer-facing hardware and software products more seamlessly into Tesla vehicles. The benefits therein to both Tesla's auto business and Apple's services business would be huge.Overall, Apple should buy Tesla because Apple needs a breakthrough hardware product to replace the iPhone, and Tesla gives them a portfolio of breakthrough hardware products while also providing synergies with the services business. Shopify (SHOP)One of the markets in which Apple has a small presence today is e-commerce. But, Apple has all the resources to make a big play in the e-commerce market. If AAPL does that, a natural first step would be the acquisition of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP).Source: Shopify via FlickrShopify provides e-commerce solutions for retailers of all shapes and sizes. Essentially, the company helps anyone and everyone create an e-commerce business.This is a big growth market because: 1) e-commerce is only growing in adoption, and 2) as e-commerce grows in popularity, more retailers will shift toward digital, and the e-commerce market will become increasingly decentralized and less consolidated.As such, over the next several years, I predict a majority of e-commerce dollar volume will flow through Shopify-powered stores.Thus, Shopify has all the e-commerce merchants and transactions. Apple creates a majority of the hardware products that enable those transactions.A marriage of these two companies would make perfect sense. Apple would control the whole e-commerce process, and could adapt the iOS ecosystem so that it works seamlessly with Shopify-powered stores, thereby ushering in an era of truly friction-less e-commerce.Overall, if Apple is looking to make a play in the red-hot e-commerce market, a natural first step would be to acquire Shopify, a company that would give Apple access to a large volume of e-commerce merchants and transactions. iRobot (IRBT)Going back to the "Apple needs a breakthrough hardware product" theme, a less expensive way to accomplish this than buying Tesla, is to buy iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT).Source: Shutterstock iRobot is a $2 billion company that is known for its robotic vacuum cleaners, Roomba. Roomba has been a huge success for iRobot as the robotic vacuum market has gradually gained traction over the past several years, and this has powered big gains in revenues, profits and the stock.But, Apple isn't interested in a robotic vacuum cleaner. That's too small of a product to move the needle. But, Apple should be interested in the entire consumer robotics space. For iRobot, robotic vacuum cleaners are just the tip of the iceberg. * 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 Over the next several years, you will see robotic lawnmowers, robotic window cleaners, robotic car washers, robotic chefs, so and so forth. In sum, all these consumer robotics products provide a huge long-term opportunity. If Apple were to couple its resources and experience with iRobot's leadership position in this market, the two could create an immensely valuable consumer robotics company with multiple breakthrough automation products that become household norms over the next several years.Overall, iRobot is an attractive acquisition target for Apple because, for just $2 billion, Apple could gain entry into what could be a very large consumer robotics market that is still in the early stages of hockey stick growth. Roku (ROKU)The last entry on this list may surprise people. After all, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) and Apple are essentially competitors in the streaming device market. But, the synergies of an acquisition far outweigh the costs.Source: Shutterstock Despite Apple's best attempts in the streaming device market, the lion's share of this market still belongs to Roku. The company controls roughly 40% of the streaming device market, and 25% of the smart TV market. Thus, Apple trying to beat Roku in this market, while possible, is an uphill battle.Instead, Apple should just buy Roku. AAPL could absorb the entire streaming player and platform businesses into its own ecosystem, and put other competitors in this market, like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), at a huge disadvantage. Buying Roku would also be pretty cheap (sub-$5 billion market cap), and it would give Apple wider reach to push a potential streaming service down the road.Overall, as opposed to trying to squash Roku, Apple should just buy them, and create a streaming platform business that is unrivaled in terms of reach and scale.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long AAPL, NFLX, DIS, TSLA, SHOP, ROKU, AMZN and GOOG. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Growth Stocks With the Future Written All Over Them * 7 Reasons Why Buffett's Bet on Apple Stock Is a Good One * 10 Companies That Could Post Decelerating Profits The post 7 Companies Apple Should Consider Buying appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Apple (AAPL) stock still rests 13% below its 52-week high despite its roughly 30% climb in 2019 amid trade war worries and a slowdown in iPhone sales. Now, let's peek ahead to see what investors should expect from Apple's third-quarter fiscal 2019 financial results.
The music giant's June app redesign makes podcasts easier to access, but there have been quite a few complaints about changes made to its music-listening features.
We are now on the cusp of earnings season with hundreds of companies set to release their financial results in the coming days. In general, sentiment is cautious- Wall Street expects the S&P 500's earnings to fall by 2% compared to the same quarter last year. This would represent the first such decline since 2016.However, Barclays has some good news for investors- and for tech investors in particular. The firm has just released a report revealing a bullish 2Q outlook for large cap tech stocks compared to previous prints. That’s thanks to a slew of factors. Namely: 1) sentiment is mixed following multiple quarters of decelerating growth, downward estimate revisions, and increased regulatory scrutiny; 2) valuations remain well off the previous peak; and 3) acceleration from a couple of key companies (see below) should drive sentiment higher.“In contrast to the pattern over the past 5+ years, the S&P is currently achieving new all-time highs without the leadership of large cap internet, and contrarians like us would view this as favorable for the current setup” writes top-rated Barclays analyst Ross Sandler. With this in mind, the analyst sets out his five favorite Internet stocks for this earnings season. According to TipRanks, he is ranked 370 out of over 5,200 tracked analysts for his strong stock picking skills. Here are his five favorite stock picks now: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)Out of all the internet stocks covered by the firm, Amazon is the number one stock for Sandler. The e-commerce giant is set to report its earnings figures on July 25. “AMZN is our top mega-cap long idea heading into 2Q - you own the name into retail revenue growth acceleration regardless of margin compression, full stop” the five-star analyst tells investors. He is modeling for 2Q revenue of $63.3 billion and anticipates a modest acceleration for retail revenue growth. This is based on checks and data showing both organic acceleration and strong next-day shipping in several US zip codes. “3Q revenue guidance should similarly benefit from a full quarter of these trends and additional time for Prime Day” he adds.However, Sandler does expect Amazon to guide below consensus for Operating Income (OI) in 3Q. Based on management's commentary that this year will return to normal pace of investment, the analyst writes “we think the street's $4.3B for 3Q is a bit aggressive.”But at the end of the day, revenue acceleration trumps all. “In periods of accelerating growth, little else has mattered for AMZN shares historically” says Sandler. And looking out to the rest of 2019, Sandler reiterates his view that “Owning AMZN into accelerating growth in retail is a winning strategy in our view hence our optimism into 2Q, despite the step down in operating profit.”In the last three months, no less than 35 analysts have published buy ratings on AMZN. Over the same period, only one analyst has stayed sidelined. Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at $2,244 (11% upside potential). View AMZN Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Facebook, Inc. (FB)Social media giant Facebook is the second top stock on the Barclays’ list. “FB seems actionable once again into 2Q as most long-only investors seem to be still watching from the sidelines, and we expect upside” enthuses Sandler. In a report titled “Facebook: Too Cheap To Ignore” the analyst reveals that he expects FB to report both revenue and EPS above his estimate and consensus. Checks remain solid around both newsfeed and stories ad revenue for 2Q, says Sandler as he forecasts 2Q revenue of $16.8 billion. That’s with estimated DAU (daily active user) growth of 7% to a whopping 1.57 billion which “could prove a tad conservative.”Bottom line: it’s worth adding to positions into the July 24 print. “As the conversation moves away from putting out privacy fires and back toward innovation, we think FB shares can continue to move higher” Sandler concludes.Like Amazon, Facebook also scores a ‘Strong Buy’ consensus from the Street. That’s with 35 recent buy ratings vs 4 hold ratings. On average, analysts see the stock rising 9% to reach $221 in the coming months. View FB Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Spotify Technology SA (SPOT)Music streaming service Spotify is out with its all-important numbers on July 31. “SPOT is likely to announce its new label agreements (removing a big overhang) and have solid premium net ads” predicts Sandler. The company is very close to the end of several months’ negotiation with major music labels, says Sandler, and could announce new agreements soon. This could easily act as a positive catalyst for prices.He expects SPOT to report paid subscribers, revenue and operating income towards the upper half of its guidance range, and reiterate its full year range. Specifically, Sandler is looking for 109 million premium subscribers, with at least 9 million net subscriber additions. That’s with new partnerships, geographical expansion and increased penetration all helping boost subscriber growth.“Shares have rebounded a bit since the December lows, but at 2.6x 2020 revenue and 9.5x GP, are still well below peer averages and the cadence of the business is improving” the analyst contends. The Street has a cautiously optimistic ‘Moderate Buy’ consensus on SPOT. While 9 analysts call the stock a buy, 2 rate the stock a hold and 1 a sell. Their average price target works out at $168 (11% upside potential). View SPOT Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Uber Technologies Inc (UBER)Ride-sharing stock Uber hit the markets in May with an unexpectedly disappointing IPO. In fact, Fortune reports that it was one of the worse-performing mega IPOs ever, with shares dropping 7.6% on the first day of trading. Things went from bad to worse when the company reported first quarter earnings and revealed a quarterly loss of over $1 billion. So what can we expect this time around on August 8? “UBER is likely to report modest upside to consensus GBs, Revenue and EBITDA losses in 2Q and potentially provide a FY EBITDA target for 2019; we would add to positions into the print” advises Sandler. In particular the analyst is looking for ‘robust growth’ in Uber Eats- the popular online food ordering and delivery platform launched by Uber in 2014. “UBER will likely accelerate in Eats revenue significantly this quarter” says Sandler, thanks to the new pricing model rolled out in mid-March. Uber split its fee into a delivery and service fee, and cleverly added a small order fee for orders under $10. However Sandler thinks the real breakout will happen when Rides take-rate starts to expand more meaningfully in 2H19. This refers to the fraction of total fares that Uber skins from trips and deliveries. “At 4.5x 2020 revenue, we think UBER is one of the few names in our coverage that could see multiple expansion and upward estimate revisions over the next year” the analyst concludes.Based on all the recent ratings, UBER holds a ‘Moderate Buy’ Street consensus. Twenty one analysts rate the stock a buy, and 8 analysts rate the stock a hold. The $53 average analyst price target translates into sizable upside potential of 22% from current levels. View UBER Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Snap Inc (SNAP)Photo-disappearing app maker Snap Inc has put on a whopping 178% year-to-date gain. Despite a disastrous 2017 and 2018, the company has come roaring back to life so far this year. And even at these levels Sandler is still optimistic about the stock’s potential. “For the more risk-seeking investor we like SNAP here despite the near-triple YTD share price rise on the back of accelerating DAUs (but would watch buyside expectations closely into the print)” he comments.True, DAU (daily active user) numbers may seem a little ‘frothy’ at current levels- and Sandler cautions that DAU may miss the high expectations. He is expecting 7 million daily active users versus the “+10m-15m DAU figure we've heard thrown around in buy-side conversations.” “Nonetheless, we think the company has a lot of momentum currently on the back of Android and some of the new product releases (filters, games, etc), hence we continue to view SNAP as one of our favorite small to mid-cap long ideas for 2019” sums up the analyst. He is modelling for $355m in revenue- and an upbeat tone for 2H when the company reports on July 23.The overall consensus on SNAP stock remains ‘Hold.’ Only 6 analysts call the stock a buy, with 14 hold ratings and 3 bearish sell ratings. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $13 now undercuts the current share price by 13%. View SNAP Price Target & Analyst Ratings DetailFind the latest 'Strong Buy' stock picks with the Trending Stocks Tool
Elsewhere on Thursday, -- Jeffrey Epstein and Deutsche Bank. -- 1MDB and Deutsche Bank. -- Salvini's secret Russian oil deal. More from the Financial Times Shock Mexican resignation deepens danger for ...
The streaming platform once derided for destroying an industry is now hailed for rescuing it. Can now-public Spotify discover profits? And how does its foray into podcasts figure?