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AAPL Rising With Tech
The conservative jobs recovery continues with unemployment at its lowest rate in two years. Stocks are reacting positively on a data heavy Friday (manufacturing, autos). Shares of AAPL are up with the rest of technology in early trading. Upcoming catalysts for the stock include first calendar quarter earnings the third week in April; any update regarding Steve Jobs‘ healthy return; the WWDC slated for June; monthly NPD data to gauge Mac / iPod businesses; iPad 2 sales updates; iPhone sales updates, the push in China, as well as the launch of the iPhone 5 (whenever that may be); new revenue streams such as video, books / publishing and social (Ping); moving iTunes into the cloud; and the continued evolution and adoption of Apple TV. Shares of Apple trade at 13x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (incl. long-term marketable securities).An Epic Fall Season Is Coming For Apple (TechCrunch)
There have been a lot of rumours floating around the web that the iPhone 5 release would be delayed until fall, with a October / November launch ahead of the holidays. But what’s up with the delay? Well, a fall time frame would give Apple a more vetted and lower power Qualcomm chip for LTE. Since we’ve already seen the dual-core processor on the iPad 2, it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple decides to add LTE on the iPhone 5 as well. And if this timetable is correct, that means Apple is gearing up for a truly epic fall: iOS 5, iPhone 5, some new iPods, the so-called “iTunes in the cloud”, and perhaps even a new piece of iPad hardware.
Apple Reportedly Absorbing Japanese Tax To Secure Components (Apple Insider)
A new report alleges that Apple has agreed to absorb increased costs for upstream Japanese components in order to prevent shipping delays of the iPad 2. The company continues to struggle to meet the overwhelming demand in the wake of the devastation suffered by its suppliers who face multiple challenges in getting components to market. Tablet makers who do not agree to higher terms, like a tax, only allows Apple to maintain its pricing pressure with the iPad. That said, margins might take a hit.
5 Areas Every Apple Investor Should Be Watching (The Motley Fool)
What are the key opportunities and threats any investor should monitor?
- Compelling valuation versus its peers
- Global brand appeal
- The high price point of the iPhone might not work in other emerging markets (India and Indonesia)
- Managing its massive supply chain of components and manufacturing
- Vertical integration has pushed the company into some areas where it lacks a rich history of design expertise (chip design)
Obviously, a company of Apple’s size faces a litany of other issues, but it’s a start.
AT&T Trying To Rationalize T-Mobile Deal (Apple Insider)
AT&T has an uphill battle in their takeover of T-Mobile. CEO Randall Stephenson defended the purchase, saying it would boost call quality (amen to that), reduce overseas roaming fees, and maintain “intense” competition. Merging T-Mobile’s underutilized allocation of public spectrum into AT&T’s network would improve capacity in some large US cities by around 30%, including the iPhone (not to mention open Apple up to 34 million T-Mobile subscribers).
Apple Loses VP Of Worldwide Marketing (All Things Digital)
Apple vice president of worldwide marketing communications Allison Johnson is leaving the company, reportedly seeking to set up a new marketing and public relations firm with former Facebook PR executive Brandee Barker. The new company currently lacks a name or a client list, but could pull in current Barker clients Quora and Groupon. Read more at Business Insider.
Daily Trader: Samsung Is Benefiting From The iPad (Cult Of Mac)
Korea-based chip maker Samsung reportedly will hired 300 new technicians in its Austin, Texas plant to fill a growing number of orders for the iPad 2. The new workers follow more than 600 hired in 2010, bringing the plant’s total payroll to around 1,700. Although rumour suggested Apple may have used its own A5 chip in the iPad 2, closer x-ray examination found Samsung still powering the next-generation device. Apple is expected to spend $7.8 billion with Samsung this year, purchasing processors, flash memory and LCDs.