Apple Stock News: Apple Surges 13.5% Amid Easing Tensions

Summary

  • Apple market volatility will continue to be dictated by China trade woes and other political news
  • iPhone Sales down 25% in China
  • WWDC garners mixed headlines and negative press from $1000 monitor stand

Exposure to China

Given that China alone accounts for approximately 20% of Apple’s net sales and manufactures its products there, it has significant exposure to their economy and trade between China and the US which accounts for approximately 40% of their sales. In light of current looming trade disputes and a slowdown in the Chinese economy, Apple has suffered significant declines there. In the trailing 6 month period ending March 30, 2019, Apple suffered a 25% decline in sales in China year over year from $30,980,000,000 to $23,387,000,000. Although other regional sectors of the business also experienced some decline, China was the worst performer by far. In the same time period, European sales declines 4%, Japanese declined 2%, Asian Pacific declines 2%, and the Americas is the only area that showed growth at 4% . Whereas the general small declines in sales are due to a mature smartphone market with growing competition where Apple represents the priciest option, Apple’s slump in China can be attributes to macroeconomic factors. In light of these general declines, Apple is becoming more proactive and aggressive in marketing and selling its iPhones. A recent tactic has been to offer 0% financing .

Huawei Competition

In the first quarter of 2019, Huawei overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone maker behind Samsung. Huawei shipped 39.3 million phones in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 59.1 million shipments in quarter 1 of 2019. This growth has come almost exclusively from China while it remains barred by the Government from doing business in the US, Apple’s crown jewel within global markets. In the scenario that there is a breakdown in trade talks and severe escalation in the trade conflict between the US and China, Apple could be subject to a retaliatory move from the Chinese side. If iPhone sales were banned in China as Huawei is banned in the US, this would immediately wipe 20% off from Apples bottom line and presumably at least that much from its market capitalization.

Looming Antitrust Probes

On June 3, 2019, on the first day of Apple’s much anticipated WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) news broke that Apple was the subject of an antitrust probe along with other big names in tech such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon which triggered an industry wide selloff as the NASDAQ 100 index fell by almost 2% that day.

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Summary and Aftermath

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference took place from June 3 through 7 and although Apple headlines were undermined by news of the antitrust probe on the first day of the conference, the conference yielded much positive news and interest. Updates include an overhaul of TVos and Apple TV as well as details regarding iOS 13, MacOSCatalina and the iPadOS which is the operating system for the iPad. Regarding hardware updates and improvements, they announced the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR as well as specs for the new Mac Pro.

This did however garner some controversy and negative press in what can be described as a massive PR blunder. They announced their starting price for their Mac Pro Monitor at $4999 with an optional stand for $1000. Critics described this as everything that’s wrong with Apple and some consumers are frustrated with paying 1000 for what is essentially a piece of metal. Other companies like Microsoft have it included with their monitor. The consensus is that this should have been presented as a $6000 computer which is a fair price considering the alternatives which generally range from $10,000 to $43,000.

Stock Performance Summary

Since bottoming at $170.27 per share on June 3rd following antitrust headlines, the stock has rallied to over $194, almost exactly halfway between the 52 week range of $233.47 and $142.

Apple Stock News – Antitrust Probe Laws Ruins Mood for WWDC

Source: Apple Inc

The highly anticipated Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019 is happening as we speak, in San Jose, California. From 3 to 7 June 2019, apple fans will been given the latest tech updates and investors will be watching stock prices closely.

However, on Monday, 3 June, news broke that Apple was facing possible jurisdiction for an antitrust probe, causing major unrest for investors as stock prices fell that very day. Meanwhile, trade war tensions might be dissipating.

Antitrust Probe – A Toothache for Apple

Source: Bloomberg

On Monday, 3 June 2019, Apple stocks fell despite trying to put their best foot forward in WWDC. The US Department of Justice has secured jurisdiction to investigate Apple on antitrust probe concerns. Sources on Reuters, unfortunately did not specify what issues led to them wanting to pursue an antitrust probe.

Other tech giants such as Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are also undergoing concurrent antitrust probes.

Apple’s stock fell by as much as 2.4% at $170.87 following a release on the report about the antitrust probe, despite being positive earlier in the day. By the end of Monday, Apple stock had rebounded slightly and closed at $173.30, with a drop of 1%.

WWDC – What’s the Latest News Mac?

Source: The Verge

On the other hand, in the WWDC 2019, Apple has announced some new and exciting updates, including a Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, iOS 13 with a dark mode, MacOSCatalina and an operating system for the iPad called iPadOS.

iTunes will be cancelled and instead broken up into three apps; Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. This is to cater to the new ways consumers buy and stream media.

They also announced the latest Mac Pro with the most up to date and powerful specs. However, it has gained a lot of traction for the wrong reasons as the design of the mac pro has ended up looking a lot like a giant cheese grater.

iPhone introduced a dark-mode for system menus and native apps. Whilst the launch speed for apps should be much quicker. With iPad’s new software updates, switching between apps will now be more seamless.  

Trade War Tensions Might be Dissipating

“The differences and frictions between the two sides in the economic and trade field will ultimately need to be resolved through dialogue and consultation.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce

Following the release of the statement in early June, investors can feel slightly hopeful. The Trade War tensions have been going on for months, putting investors and consumers on edge.

Any tariffs placed on Apple products will have an undesirable impact. According to analysts, every 5% drop in China’s sales will result in an earnings per share drop of about 15 cents. This is due to the fact that China is Apple’s third largest market and Apple relies on chinese workers for assembly of their products.

Source: Bloomberg

On 10 May 2019, the Trump Administration raised tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion goods after failed negotiations. Three days later, China threatened to raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods. With the escalating trade war tensions in the month of May, Apple Stocks have certainly taken a hit.

Goldman Sachs estimated that Apple’s earnings would fall by 29% if China were to retaliate against the US with a ban on sales of the iPhone maker’s products.

Apple Stock News: Gloom From US-China Trade War Is Here To Stay

Investors used to be optimistic about Apple in the trade war

While Apple’s stocks have been unmistakably suffering this month from the US-China trade war, its prospects were not always so gloomy. When the Trump administration initially declared sweeping tariffs on China, it exempted Apple in order to assuage the appetites of voracious American iPhone consumers. In fact, last week, the stock was still trading on a P/E ratio 14.6 forward Wall Street profit estimates, which was below the forward P/E multiple on the Dow Jones (of 15.7 times) and the S&P 500 (of 17.2 times).
Yet with a second round of tariffs on the horizon, Apple’s prospects are not so sunny. Especially after May 17, when the Trump administration banned Huawei from purchasing the American components it needs to manufacture its products (for allegedly aiding Beijing in espionage), the risk of Chinese retaliation is heavy on Apple’s shoulders.

China is key to Apple’s sales and revenue

It cannot be stressed how important Apple’s operations in China is to its sales and revenue. In the past fiscal year, $51 billion of Apple’s sales came from China, deeming the country Apple’s third biggest region, only behind the Americas and Europe. Moreover, Apple relies on China for about a fifth of its revenue.

Analysts are drawing up estimates for how much damage China could inflict with retaliatory policies. As Huawei struggles to replace its American parts with self-manufactured ones, Apple is China’s next likely target if Beijing continues to pursue its “tit-for-tat” strategy. While analysts at Goldman Sachs believe that a ban on Apple product in China is still unlikely at this point, such a ban or “some other restriction on Apple products” could dent Apple’s earnings by 29%. What’s more, China does not have to ban production directly to cut into Apple’s supply chain. China could pursue other methods such as a ban on rare-earth metals or promoting nationalist sentiment among consumers.

Optimism for Apple’s immediate recovery is fading

The biggest problem Apple faces today is that the key factor which could trigger all of these looming risks–international trade policy–is surrounded by so much uncertainty. As of now, the next opportunity for a Trump-Xi dialogue is at the upcoming G20 Summit in Osaka in late June. Even then, it is not certain that such a dialogue will exist or that it will be ameliorative.

These questions up in the air have definitely thrown Apple on a downwards slope. Goldman Sachs has lowered its target price for Apple to $178 a share. This estimate seems appropriate seeing that the stock has dropped about 10% in May, and about 20% from its highs in October 2018. Yahoo Finance’s Scott Gamm pronounced that its stock is officially in bear market territory.

So is Apple hitting bottom anytime soon? Are we nearing the end of its turmoil? The answer is “probably not.” Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer at S&P Global Market Intelligence, tells Yahoo Finance that with so much uncertainty surrounding “fundamental catalysts” such as trade, there is “definitely more room for Apple to go down.” In short, with such a key part of its sales essentially being held hostage in one of the fiercest trade wars of this decade, Apple’s stocks can be predicted to continue to fall victim to this unrelenting uncertainty.

Apple Stock News: Apple’s Revenue Hits An All Time High

Summary:

  • Apple’s Services Revenue Reaches New All-Time High of $11.5 Billion
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that consumers can press ahead with a lawsuit that accuses Apple (AAPL) of using its market dominance to artificially inflate prices at its App Store.
  • Apple’s market share in the global smartphone market is shrinking.

Sticky Situation For Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that consumers can press ahead with a lawsuit that accuses Apple (AAPL) of using its market dominance to artificially inflate prices at its App Store. The US Supreme Court voted 5-to-4 to allow an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant to move forward. This decision piles on the pressure the company faces to cut the 30% commission it charges on app sales. Lawyers pressing the case plan to seek hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of overpaying consumers. Apple fell 5.8% to close at $185.72 on the stock market on that day.

[Yahoo finance]

When a user buys an app on Apple’s app store, Apple collects the money, keeps the 30% commission and gives the rest to the developer. Apple told the high court it passed $26.5 billion on to developers in 2017. The company is part of an app economy that will grow from $82 billion last year to $157 billion in 2022, according to App Annie projections.

In the Apple lawsuit, the company argued the case’s focus was the 30% commission. That’s something the company said is paid by the developers, not the app purchasers. The consumers said they pay for the commissions through higher app prices. But Apple contends those are the type of “pass-through” damages barred under the Supreme Court’s 1977 Illinois Brick v. Illinois ruling. The high court did not touch on the merits of the case, which contends the company has monopoly power over iPhone users because the only place they can buy those apps legally is run by the company.

Shrinking Problem

Apple’s market share in the global smartphone market is shrinking, and the company’s margins are being compressed due to declining iPhone sales and increased competition. This leads me to believe that Apple will likely have to lower iPhone prices to better compete with its cheaper competitors.

In addition, the recent earnings report was not great in my view, and the company may disappoint investors in future quarters. The technical image also looks weak, and we could see another 15-20% correction from here. Between Q4’18 and Q1’19, Samsung has taken a 5% leap in the smartphone market share, while Apple declined by 7%. Huawei has since overtaken Apple in second place.

[Statista]

Trade War

[Financial Times]

In the ongoing trade war between US and China, tariffs of 25% on $200 billion of chinese goods were made on the 13th May. The tariffs could add about $160 to the cost of a $999 Chinese-made iPhone XS. The increased cost of the american branded chinese made product could have detrimental effects on the sales of its products, with strong competition coming from Samsung and Huawei. However, one thing to note about the tariffs is, the cost of the tariffs to consumers. The new 25% tariff is levied on components, not the finished product. Apple’s AirPods and Apple Watches are spared additional tariffs. Any calculations made pertaining to the costs will not be straightforward.

Although Apple has a lot of American suppliers and spent $60 billion on American suppliers in 2018, it assembles its iPhones primarily in China. As a result, Apple uses a Chinese supply chain for all its products, from iPhones to iPads and Mac computers, hence being a primary victim of the trade war. It’s korean competitor, Samsung which has plants in Vietnam, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Korea, is far more diversified in its supply chain. To address this issue, Apple has reportedly stepped up efforts to shift production from China.

Shipments of iPhones to North America, Apple’s largest market, fell 19% to 14.6 million units in the first three months of the year. Also, Tariffs could also affect iPhone sales in China, where On Monday, China announced plans to apply 25% duties on 2,493 US products, starting on 1 June. Apple reported $51 billion in revenue in 2018 from “Greater China,” which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan. That’s Apple’s third-biggest region, after the Americas and Europe. Apple’s total revenue for 2018 was $265.6 billion. This could mean a lower revenue in the future quarters.

Everything else is thriving

[Idgesg.net]

Even though Apple has faced legal troubles and the potential force of the trade war, investors should not worry. Apple is doing well in services, that its service revenue has increased to $11.5 billion in the Q2 2019 financial report. That can be attributed to paid subscriptions, which nearly topped 400 million for an increase of 30 million over last quarter. The company also posted quarterly revenue of $58 billion , which is a decline of 5 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.46, down 10 percent.

International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter’s revenue. iPad sales were also up, fueled by the release of the fifth-gen iPad mini and the new iPad Air. Apple also sold $5.1 billion worth of Apple Watches, AirPods, and other accessories in the Q2’19, a 30 percent increase over the year-ago quarter. We should also not forget that Apple announced that they will no longer reports iPhone, iPad, and Mac unit sales numbers.

Apple Stock News: Hope and Expectations for 2019

Apple Stock News: Hope and Expectations 2019

Apple’s first quarter of the year is the one with biggest sales and higher margins due to a seasonal effect. The recent Q1 earnings report showed decline in profit margins, even though analysts had a “better than feared” reaction and Apple stock price went up. Let’s see what do we expect from Apple in 2019.

Apple Music and American Airlines

Apple music is now available in American Airlines flights since the 1st of February. Apple Music subscribers will have access to more than 50 million songs on any domestic flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi with no Wi-Fi purchase required.

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Office 365 available on Mac App Store

Now for Apple users it is easier to download office applications. This apps, also can be easily distributed to employees using Apple Business Manager enabling to work in any Apple device.

AirPods

According to the reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a new AirPods model is expected in 2019. The most popular accessory of Apple will have new features. With the New AirPods you will be able to activate Siri only with your voice, they will also improve water resistance, noise cancellation and Bluetooth signal. As well, they will include wireless charging and are going to be smaller than the current model.

(Source: flickr.com)

Apple News subscriptions

Apple News will offer more premium options. According to Bloomberg, in 2019 Apple will offer an all-you-can-read magazine subscription plan, taking advantage of its Texture acquisition.

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Mac Pro

Mac Pro has not been updated since 2013, but Apple announced in 2017 for this year would be finished a new version for Mac Pro. The revamped modular version would be the highest-end, high-throughput desktop system to allow the future upgrades and higher-end hardware. A design for their demanding pro customers, they said.

iPhones in 2019

New iPhones are coming in 2019. Apple is expected to provide three new iPhones in similar sizes as the current ones (iPhone XS, XS Max and XR).

Are plans to launch the new iPhones with a 3-D camera. This would be an important upgrade to the current camera, will work up to about 15 feet from the device. Also, it will power the Face ID feature. This camera would enhance augmented reality functions, allowing better placement of virtual objects on the screen and a more accurate depth perception. However, Bloomberg says plans to include a 3D sensor on the 2019 iPhone models have been delayed, and the technology will come on the 2020.

Regarding the other features, is expected to use OLED displays and an upgraded A13 chips, bringing improved performance and efficiency.

(Source: pixabay.com)

iMac

There is hope for a new iMac for 2019. The current iMac is two generations behind the 9th-generation Intel Coffee Lake Refresh. 2019 update is expected with faster processors.

MacBook

The MacBook also didn’t get a 2018 update. It could be updated in 2019 and might be with new processors and there have been rumors that MacBook will be the first to get an Apple-designed ARM processor, but we will see.

iPad Mini

New iPad mini is expected for this year. The 7.9-inch iPad would have an upgraded processor, at least the level of performance of the iPad 2018 (Apple A10 Fusion CPU). iPad mini 5 will have a lower-cost panel, Apple pencil support and Smart Keyboard connectivity.

(Source: flickr.com)

Apple Stock Outlook For 2019: SWOT Analysis + I Know First Forecast For AAPL

Apple Stock Outlook For 2019: SWOT Analysis + I Know First Forecast For AAPL

The infamous Apple logo

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has come a long way over the past few years. As it has doubled its stock price since summer 2016 and become the first trillion dollar company earlier this year, it has also seen some dips and is currently below the price it was at a year ago.

 

Apple is now down 33% from it’s all time high of 233.47 and has dropped below the trillion dollar mark once again. Apple’s most recent tumble has left the company at a new 2018 low ~$150 on December 21 causing market cap to drop below $700 billion for the first time in nearly 2 years. So what’s next for the company for the next year? Will the stock price continue to slump as it has for the tail end of 2018? Or will it bounce back for another record breaking year? In this article, we will take a look at Apple’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in order to determine the tech giant’s future potential.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Apple has many strengths that have helped it stay on top of the phone and computer market for years. It’s simple and easy to use iOS phone software compatibility with its macOS computer software has allowed consumers to maintain seamless connections between their phones and computers. This has contributed to the large brand loyalty customers feels towards Apple. Many iPhone users have used the flagship phone for years and do not plan on switching anytime soon.

Moreover, Apple has boasted strong financials over the past years with strong quarterly reports. While some investors were not necessarily thrilled with the company’s latest Q4 earnings report, there were still many impressive metrics such as a 20% YoY increase in revenue to $62.9 billion. This translated to an extraordinary 41% YoY increase in earnings per share of $2.91. These high percentages resonate more with those of a startup than the multibillion dollar company Apple has become.

Source: Yahoo Finance

These high revenues have given the company high cash flow it can invest as it chooses. The company has put a large focus on research and development of its current products as well as new ventures. For example, the company releases new iterations of its phones, computers, and watches yearly. On top of that, the company has been working on new applications of its technology such as self-driving cars. In the past, Apple has created innovative products that have helped attract and maintain customers.

Apple Annual Free Cash Flow (Source: MacroTrends)

Despite being a multibillion dollar company, Apple still have a relatively fair valuation. The company’s Price/Earnings Ratio is cheaper than the industry average which sits around 20. This is also very valid considering it also has a very reasonable forward P/E of 11.85. Additionally, Apple’s earnings growth doesn’t seem to be stopping. Over the past 5 years, EPS growth has been around 15%. Over the next 2 years, EPS is expected to grow by a slightly lower, but still significant 11.10%.

Weaknesses

While Apple did have a strong start to the year, it struggled in the final quarter of the year. Despite announcing three new iPhone models in September, the company did not meet expectations for unit sales. While this would have been disheartening, but not necessarily worrisome on its own, Apple also announced it would no longer release metrics for hardware unit sales. To many investors, this implied a slowdown of sales and potentially a dip into negatives.

One of the most unique features of the iPhone XR is the new color ways available. Although some of these colors were also available for Apple’s last budget phone, the iPhone 5C (Source: Apple)

So why exactly have iPhone sales been down? With improvements in the technology within smartphones, they now last longer and consumers do not necessarily need one every year or two. Additionally, the latest iteration of iPhones were extremely similar to the previous generation, leading few people with newer phones to upgrade. In the past, the new features of the most recent iPhone might still incentivize those with functioning phones to take the plunge for the news phone, now only those who are in need of new phone will invest. Additionally, the high price of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max may be a pinnacle for Apple’s pricing power. Even the company’s cheaper option, the iPhone XR, sells for a premium of $749. The higher prices for fewer new features has led consumers to use their phones for longer and hold off on upgrading, decreasing hardware sales.

On January 2, Apple released a press release outlining a revised lower guidance for the upcoming quarter. This sent the Apple stock tumbling as investors began worrying about these lower earnings. Apple cited four primary reasons for the decreased expectations: launch timing, foreign exchange conversions, supply constraints, and difficulty in emerging markets. The most significant weakness to Apple is the lack of revenue from iPhones which the company attributes to the timing of its launch. Because of the delay in the iPhone X, many of the orders were fulfilled in Q1 2018 whereas the majority of iPhone sales were fulfilled in Q4 2018 for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This in combination with supply constraints urged Apple to warn its investors of lower potential revenue for the first quarter of 2019.

Opportunities

While iPhones still represent Apple’s core business, Apple has been diversifying its revenue by focusing on its services. While buying an iPhone or other Apple hardware product happens at most once a year, services can be purchased at anytime with higher frequency. Apple’s Services division is composed of many different services ranging from AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Music, and more. In its most recent quarter, Services revenue increased 17% YoY to nearly $10 billion. If Apple continues to focus on the Services market, it can reap large profits.

Apple also recently teamed up with Amazon to form a lucrative new partnership. Amazon will now be a direct reseller of Apple iPhones and iPads. This should help to boost hardware sales and sets the stage for future partnerships with Amazon which should prove profitable for Apple. This partnership also allows Apple the chance to capitalize on another opportunity: holiday sales. The holiday season has high potential to increase hardware sales.

Another potential, but less likely partnership may be with Tesla. Many analysts have noted that the companies similar emphasis on seamless software and sleek hardware could lead to either an acquisition or partnership. While there has been no indication from either company that this is in the works, it would be logical considering Apple’s work on self driving cars and Tesla’s need for free cash flow.

Apple has struggled in the past with developing markets such as in India. The expensive iPhone has not had the massive success it has in other countries because of many lower price alternatives from competitors. Additionally, high tariffs have made the phones come at an even higher premium. Apple began combatting this by starting to assemble iPhones such as the SE and 6S in 2017 through Wistron’s local unit in Bengaluru. Apple has now struck a deal with Foxconn to being manufacturing its newer iPhones such as the iPhone X in the beginning of 2019. Until now the company has only sold is lower end models, so the introduction of new premium phones will hopefully grow Apple’s prominence in the country.  This partnership has massive potential to help Apple gain market share in the huge Indian phone market.

Threats

Source: Pixabay

In December, the US market officially entered bear territory, just like Apple itself. Many stocks are struggling in December, one of the usually most profitable months for companies. As one of the biggest stocks in the US stock market, Apple can be affected by general market sentiment and trends like this December dip. With many analysts wary of an oncoming recession, Apple could suffer from no fault of its own.

Another potential threat Apple faces is an escalating US-China trade war. Just like the entire technology sector, Apple is susceptible to impacts from tariffs. Additionally, Apple faces pressure to move production to US which would lead to higher costs for Apple. Meanwhile, China has proposed various policies from closing its markets which would affect many Apple suppliers. On top of this, Apple is currently appealing an iPhone sales ban in China and Germany on older iPhone models over patent infringements of Qualcomm. A Chinese court has banned imports and sales of iPhones comprising approximately 10-15% of  Apple’s China sales. However, Apple will continue selling its iPhone 7 and 8 models on the website while the decision is appealed.

The trade war is not the only difficulty Apple is facing in regards to international expansion. Another major player in Apple’s lower revenue guidance was difficulty in emerging markets and significantly lower iPhone sales in China. As a whole, China’s economy has been slowing down since the middle of 2018. This economic slowdown was only exacerbated by trade tensions leading to a large contraction in the smartphone market that affected Apple and created a revenue shortfall. Apple also overestimated the number of upgrades in these emerging markets which is a result of a strong US dollar, fewer subsidies, and phones now function at a high capacity for much longer than they used to. Apple is already taking action to minimize the impact of these threats in the future.

Analyst Recommendations

Currently, the majority of analysts have a bullish outlook for AAPL. Of the 42 analysts polled by Yahoo Finance, 31 rate Apple stock as a Buy with 11 of these as Strong Buy. Only 11 of the analysts give Apple a neutral rating.

Conclusion

Despite lowered earnings expectations, which has been a very bearish signal for many investors, Apple still has potential in the new year. While Apple cannot control the macroeconomic environment that has led to this decreased guidance, the company is already combating these with new programs. For example, Apple is now incentivizing customers to upgrade their iPhone by offering larger trade in values for older models. Additionally, which iPhone sales have suffered, the largest number of iPhones are being used daily which provides a large market for Apple’s services and also exemplifies the loyalty of Apple users. The price drop that resulted from Apple’s press release now provides an even more valuable opportunity to buy into the multibillion dollar company.

While Apple does have some weaknesses to work on and threats to combat, the company has many strengths and opportunities it is building on while should outweigh the downside. That being said, as the economy sinks into bearish territory and trade war tensions continue building, the market as a whole including Apple, will probably not see any major gains. Over the long run though, Apple should bounce back. As it diversifies its revenue by taking advantage of Apple Services, the offset of decreased hardware sales will affect earnings less. Additionally, with a track record of new innovation, Apple’s next line of phones should be more unique. Moreover, no one knows what other products are in development. Based on this, Apple should be back in winning territory by the end of 2019.

I Know First 2019 Bullish Forecast For Apple

The I Know First machine learning algorithm currently has a positive outlook for AAPL. While the stock is bullish over all time horizons, it is most bullish for the 1 year period with a signal of 310.36 and predictability indicator of .85.

Past I Know First Success With Apple Stock Forecasts

A bit over a year ago, the I Know First algorithm gave a bullish long term outlook for AAPL which was included in a premium article on how the trillion dollar app economy is boosting Apple. The prediction was bearish in the short term, but saw a positive upside over the 1 year time horizon with a signal of 116.66 and a predictability indicator of .62. In accordance with the algorithm, Apple has grown nearly 45% since then.

Apple Stock News: Apple and Amazon Join Forces in Lucrative New Partnership

Apple and Amazon’s New Partnership and What this Collaboration Means for the Stock

Based on Apple’s latest earnings report, iPhone unit sales are flat. The iPhone is reportedly not selling as well as expected, though the nearing holiday season will surely bring an expected spike. Global sales of tablets are also shrinking. It is therefore a great relief to learn that Apple successfully persuaded Amazon (AMZN) to sell iPhones and iPads in America and other countries. Amazon is the third-ranked vendor of tablets with its Fire Android products. It therefore came as somewhat of a surprise that Amazon agreed to be a direct reseller of iPads.

(Source: Statista)

Why Apple Needs Amazon

I previously harped about it many times – AAPL’s price movement is largely dictated by how many units of iPhones it sold.  AAPL dipped post-earnings last November 2nd because investors are scared that iPhone sales have peaked. The management’s decision to no longer report unit sales of iPhones going forward is worrisome for some investors. It was perceived as tacit admission that iPhone unit sales have really peaked.  The mood now is that Apple can no longer rely on the iPhone for growth.

(Source: Statista)

 

The dip in Apple’s valuation to below $1 trillion confirmed that investors care more for iPhone unit sales than any other metrics. It did not matter that Apple finished its fiscal year 2018 with record revenue and profit.  In spite of the flat lining unit sales of the iPhone, Apple’s $265.59 billion in FY 2018 revenue was still a 15.86% year over year increase. The annual net income of $59.53 billion saw an increase of 23.12% Y/Y. The pessimism over AAPL has gave it a lower EV/EBITDA valuation than MSFT and GOOG. This undervaluation is in spite of AAPL’s superior balance sheet and revenue/net income performance. Apple is clearly the better value play than its peers.

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

How Amazon Will Help

Going forward, Apple’s stock could rise again because of Amazon helping it sell more units of the iPhone and the iPad. Apple may no longer divulge specific quarterly unit sales for its products, but growth could still be surmised through improved revenue over the next succeeding years. Apple already has more than 500 retail stores around the world. However, Amazon touts more than 100 million Prime subscribers. They are all potential customers of Apple’s pricey products. There is also the strong possibility of Amazon offering subsidised price tags for the Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad to select Prime subscribers.  Going forward, this potential Amazon subsidy could increase Apple’s hardware sales.

This partnership is also perfect timing for this upcoming Christmas shopping season. People around the world will be receiving their 13th-month pay and Christmas bonuses. Millions of Amazon shoppers will be capable of buying the most ‘affordable’ $750 iPhone XR.

A survey last July 2017 revealed that 59% of American respondents with income of $75K to $99K are Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon’s Prime subscriber base definitely has wealthy individuals who can easily afford the most expensive Apple product. Statista’s chart below clearly illustrates that many Amazon Prime members are perfect targets for the new pricey iPhones and iPad Pros.

(Source: Statista)

Conclusion

It is a long-term tailwind for Apple that Amazon has agreed to become an authorised reseller of Apple watches, phones, and tablets. Amazon will also delist non-official resellers of Apple products on its marketplace by January 4, 2019. By eliminating unauthorised resellers on Amazon’s websites, Apple is assured of price uniformity for all of its products sold.  Eliminating price-cutting third-party sellers can improve Apple’s topline and bottom-line. It is an open secret that many unscrupulous individuals and organisations resell deeply-discounted stolen iPhones/iPads on online stores like Amazon.

Amazon is now also a massive sales channel for refurbished iPhones and iPads that Apple needs to unload. These refurbished products are from Apple’s own trade-in program. Apple practices device trade-ins so it could sell newer, more expensive models. The exchanged phones, tablets, and computers that Apple has stockpiled can be quickly monetised through Amazon.

I rate AAPL as a buy. This stock also has a bullish one-year forecast from I Know First. The high 0.81 predictability score means I Know First has a long track record of correctly predicting the 12-month price trend of Apple’s stock.

The vibe from monthly technical indicators and moving averages trends are in favor of going long on AAPL right now.

(Source: Investing.com)

Past I Know First Success with Apple Stock Prediction

I Know First has been consistent and accurate with AAPL stock predictions in the past.

This bullish 1 Month/3 Month/1 Year Forecast that was sent to our subscribers on August 22, 2017.

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How to read the I Know First Heatmap

The article discussed possible acceleration of Apple’s research on Augmented Reality and self-driving car technologies as those are considered to be future diversification areas for Apple. Some key financial aspects were analyzed, including posting of a new record high of $162.51 at the end of August 2017. Finally, we expected that Apple coming up with a real major upgrade to the iPhone 7 could propel the stock to a new 52-week high. Since the forecast’s release, where the bullish signal of 131.7 was identified by the algorithm with predictability rate of 0.61, Apple Inc. stock price surged that high that on August 2, 2018 the company’s market capitalization became more than $1T and ended up on August 22, 2018 with stock price increase by 38.86%.

Summary:

    • This holiday quarter should see a notable increase in Apple’s hardware sales. Apple’s flat lining iPhone unit sales desperately needs a boost.
    • Amazon recently agreed to sell Apple Watches, iPhones, and iPad tablets in its U.S. and international online stores.
    • AMZN agreed to become an official Apple reseller. Amazon will delist unauthorized resellers of Apple products using its platform by January 4, 2019.
    • Amazon touts more than 100 million Prime subscribers. They are all desirable potential customers for Apple products. Buying online is faster than queuing up at an Apple retail store.
    • I still rate AAPL as a buy.

Please note-for trading decisions use the most recent forecast. Get today’s forecast and Top stock picks.

Apple Unveils Highly Anticipated New Line Up at October Event

Apple Unveils Highly Anticipated New Line Up at October Event

(Flickr)

After a long period of anticipation, Apple has held its October event in Brooklyn this past week. The event’s announcements of upcoming products included the Retina MacBook Air, a new Mac mini, and a pair of new iPad Pros. Feedback from those who have been slightly unimpressed with Apple as of late, was very positive. Apple also announced Q4 results in which they surpassed revenue for the previous quarter, and the same quarter of the previous year. Finally, Apple reported its Q4 earnings this week. The company generated $62.9 billion in revenue and $14.12 billion in profit from 46.89m iPhones, 9.69m iPads, and 5.3m Macs sold.

The Lineup: iPad Pro

The most anticipated announcement of the big three was the iPad Pro lineup. As expected, the new iPad Pro is available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch, with no Home button and Face ID support. The display stretches further to the edges this time around, via its liquid retina display. Apple has released a new Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil to accompany the new iPad Pro. To finally join it’s newest products, the new iPad Pros will also use an USB-C connector, allowing customers to use one cable for several devices. First introduced by Apple CEO Tim Cook several years ago, and said to represent his vision of the future of personal computers, the iPad Pro have always had more computing power than their non-Pro counterparts. Fo this reason, it has become a big favorite of professionals in the realm of creativity, particularly in the music and media industries. Apple says the A12X Bionic chip makes them more powerful and faster than any other tablet on the market. Meanwhile the tablet’s storage capacity can be extended to an massive 1 terabyte. The new 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch starts at $999.

Retina MacBook Air

The Retina MacBook Air starts was one of the more stand-out products of the show. It is available in three colors for the first time: silver, space gray, and gold. The new MacBook is powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, with 8GB of RAM. It is equipped with Apple’s T2 security chip, USB-C, and a Butterfly keyboard, as well. The new MacBook Air also features Touch ID, which allows customers to access their laptop way more conveniently. This new feature will also allow people to use Apple Pay with just a quick touch of their finger. Grove also added during the presentation that the new 13.3-inch Retina Display “quadruples” the pixel count of the old MacBook Air, with an impressive 2560×1600 native resolution. The MacBook Air also promises “48% more colour” than the previous iteration’s screen. The product that was lagging behind other updated Apple products is finally receiving some appealing changes and could become a very hot seller.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is powered by a quad-core processor. An upgrade to a six-core processor is also an option if you need more power, which would make the computer 5x faster than before. The Mac Mini also holds 64GB of memory. Much like the MacBook Air, you get Apple’s T2 security chip. This would mark the first time since 2014 that the product is being upgraded. The Mac Mini will be starting at $799 with a November 7th release date.

All of these products are being made with 100% recycled aluminum. This gives them yet another edge over competitors. This may acquire some extra sales, because let’s be honest, this is Apple. The company knows how to maximize profit, which should be good news for any investor.

Q4

Apple has released its 2018 fourth quarterly earnings which include initial iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max sales as well as the Series 4 Apple Watch. The iPhone XR launched earlier this month and didn’t make the previous quarter. They reports $62.9 billion in revenue and $14.12 billion profit. Apple us forecasting next quarter’s earnings to be between $89 billion and $93 billion. Fiscal year 2018’s Q4 results compare to the previous quarter’s $53.3 billion in revenue, $11.5 billion in profit. This includes 41.3 million iPhones, 11.55 million iPads, and 3.7 million Macs. In the same quarter one year ago, Apple reported $52.6 billion in revenue. Look for the release of all these heavyweight products, especially right around holiday time, to bring in some serious revenue for Apple.

 

Apple Inc. Is Still The Big Bad Bull

“There Is More In The Making”

(Flickr)

The first company to hit a trillion dollar valuation continues to refine their strategies and will continue to generate heavy revenue. On October 30th, Apple will be holding an event in Brooklyn, to reveal it’s newest releases. This comes in light of the September Summit, which left some disappointed. At least in the sense that they didn’t hear of anything more than the iPhone and the iWatch (most likely a calculation to keep attention of the product). The Brooklyn event’s tagline is “there is more in the making”, and is expected to reveal new iPad Pros, Macs, and more. This time around Apple’s expected to reveal two redesigned iPad Pro models, a new MacBook, and other upgrades to the Mac line. There are some speculations that it can be something new all together, a leap in the AR realm. The visuals for the event, which shows the Apple logo graphically animated in many different ways, may be alluding to the new iPad Pro. It is set to be equipped with Adobe Photoshop CC and is culminating much anticipation. For what it’s worth, this will be their first event held in Brooklyn, which may convey a newer direction Apple may be headed.

The Electric Canvas

Adobe held it’s Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles this week. At the event, the official announcement which includes Photoshop CC on the new iPad was finally made. Expect the official hype train for this to start rolling in to Brooklyn on the 30th of October. The immensely successful app will surely reflect on the new iPad’s revenue (CC makes up for half of Adobe’s revenue). Besides having a premium tablet, the addition of such an app makes at even more of an investment to artists, and the regular user alike. I also believe that the time we are in now, with the popularity of editing pictures and making “memes” just for the sake of entertainment on social media at the highest level it has ever been, the incentive to purchase is higher (The mobile phone greatly limits Photoshop CC of it’s capabilities.) The deal leaves Apple getting commission on each Creative Cloud subscription.

Calculations

Pre-orders for the iPhone XR set into effect this week. The more affordable version of the new iPhone releases drops right in time for it to get hot and spread right in time for shopping season. These are some of the obvious, but sometimes maybe not so obvious calculations made by Apple that make them the company that they are today. It is the same reason that they held two events about one month away from each other. This gives each product a broader spectrum of attention. Calculations which revolve around increments. Incremental changes that bring PROFIT. In the example of the Apple Watch, they could have released the first with the same, larger face size that they have now, but increasing it each year means that they will SELL more watches. The release of the XR, as I stated in the last article, I believe may be their best selling phone to date. This is due to the fact that they are offering a premium Apple phone that is similar to their $1000 phone for about $749, which is truly a decent value today, at least taking in to consideration Apple’s position in today’s society.

(Flickr)

Equations

Besides the fact that they sell quality product, I believe paying attention to detail when it comes to Apple’s releases can be enlightening as to why they are a $3 trillion company. The incremental upgrades to products, and their releases bring in enormous revenue. It is the same reason why next year, when Apple releases the next big phone, with the upgrades that they possibly already have on the burner (increments), we may be singing the same tune. This year, the company reversed its strategy, launching the most expensive versions first, and higher pricing relative to last year should boost average selling prices. In addition to altering the iPhone strategy, the same is likely to happen with the iPad Pro this year. In 2017, the company launched 10.5- and 12.9-inch versions of its high end tablet in June, this year they seem to be targeting a fall launch schedule, which will more target the holiday shopping season. I Know First is bullish with AAPL stock in the long term.

Apple Stock Forecast: AAPL May Be Headed Towards Another Record Quarter

Apple Stock Forecast: High Demand For XS Max, XR On The Way

(By Rhaym tech Via Wikimedia Commons)

With the release of the new iPhone XS and the more popular XS Max, Apple may be on the verge of it’s highest grossing iPhone release yet. Not to mention being days away from the release of the highly anticipated, and more affordable iPhone XR. In a recent survey by Piper Jaffray, from 700 domestic Apple iPhone owners, 39% would upgrade to the iPhone XS or XS Max if they were to upgrade this year with just about a split between the two models. The remaining 61% would choose the upcoming iPhone XR or existing iPhone 7 or 8.

Given that “older” apple products seem to not really survive that long. Wether that is by Apple’s own controversial, yet somehow forgivable doing, or people’s desire to have the next best thing, people are buying the newest phones. The in-house built A12 Bionic chip powered phone will cost the customer upwards 1000$, not to mention the increased warranties. People are now willing to pay top dollar for something that is highly utilized on a daily basis, and the reflection of the premium quality cellular phones will be seen in their sales. I believe that Apple’s business strategies are far more complex and exceed that which meet’s the eye. The release of the iPhone XR, which is a more affordable alternative to the only slightly more premium model, at still a fairly large price point, will surely become the most popular among the larger scale of consumer.  This could very well be their most profitable model to date.

Don’t Just “Watch” This Stock

The Series 4 Apple Watch has been seeing success across the board as well. It has been receiving notable reviews by consumers. The new Apple Watch Nike+ devices is the next release in the Series 4 family. It includes a larger screen, thinner body, an ECG reader, fall detection, and more. It will also launch worldwide.

Most of the time Apple stock falls after earnings. A lot of people with inflated expectations decide to sell after earnings. Instead, Apple tends to rise during the long periods between earnings reports. In 8 out of the last 10 iPhone releases, AAPL slid immediately after the release and didn’t return to pre-release levels for about 60 days. Currently, they’re hitting all time highs two weeks after the release. Last earnings report, on 07/31/18, sent AAPL into an immediate uptick. The likes of 3% in a single day. Apple is set to release it’s Q4 earnings on November the 1st.

I Know First’s predictive algorithm remains bullish on AAPL stock in the long term.

To learn more about I Know First’s success and accuracy, click here to read our premium article about Warren Buffet’s long investment and how our algorithm successfully predicted and forecasted Apple’s record breaking year, before it happened.

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