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AAPL Up As Markets Bounce Around
The markets are treading water today as investors are hopeful over plans to stem the escalating debt crisis in Europe. Headlines about Austria rejecting the bailout vote sent stocks plunging, but markets bounced back after it was clarified that the vote is actually just delayed. Shares of AAPL are trending in the black along with the rest of technology. Catalysts include the iPhone 5 launch this fall; the iPad 3 in the spring of 2012; continued adoption in China and other emerging markets; iCloud / iOS 5 rollout and adoption; the continued evolution and next generation of Apple TV; and new platforms such as mobile advertising (iAd), books / publishing and social (Ping). Shares of Apple trade at 9.7x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities).Apple Potentially To Return Cash To Shareholders (Forbes)
When it comes to Apple, one of the biggest questions on the Street remains what the company will do with its $76 billion pile of cash. That’s $81 a share. Morgan Stanley analyst Kay Huberty believes that the company is “more likely than ever to return cash to shareholders” in the form of share repurchases or a regular cash dividend. The company’s cash stash is well in excess of the $6 billion to $8 billion the company invests in the business every year. The company could have almost $100 million in cash by the end of the year.
Apple Could Break Mac Sales Record This Quarter (CNet)
Apple could break a record this quarter by selling as many as 4.6 million Macs, according to the latest forecast from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Based on robust demand for OS X Lion and July’s refreshed MacBook Airs and Mac Minis, Munster is calling for Mac sales of between 4.4 million and 4.6 million for the quarter ending this month, in line with Wall Street estimates. Mac sales in the U.S. for July and August were up 22% over the same period last year, according to NPD.
HTC Considering Buying WebOS To Compete With Apple (AppleInsider)
Smartphone maker HTC has publicly stated it is considering buying its own mobile operating system platform, with HP’s WebOS a potential option for acquisition. If HTC does decide to pursue a purchase of WebOS, it may have to compete with rival Android handset maker Samsung, which is also rumoured to be eyeing an acquisition of the smartphone software. Like HTC, Samsung is also involved in a number of patent infringement suits with Apple around the globe.
Amazon Getting Serious About Its Tablet, Trying To Lock In Publishers (The Wall Street Journal)
Amazon is negotiating with magazine and newspaper publishers over subscription- and single-copy periodical pricing, and noodling over a streaming book service with book publishers. This is all to fortify its content fortress for its forthcoming tablet. The e-commerce giant is expected to launch the Kindle Tablet, a 7-inch, Android-based tablet this November. The slate would cost less than $300, priced to challenge the iPad.
How Will Apple React To The Amazon Tablet? (International Business Times)
Assuming Amazon manages a powerful Kindle Tablet launch, Apple’s market share would fall, but still maintain something like 60%. That would leave Android-based tablets like the Kindle with about 30%. At first, Apple will remain way ahead of any competitor with its huge library of applications. But if Amazon worked fast, added more content, perhaps acquired services like Hulu or tapped into some of its existing relationships with libraries, retailers and recording studios, the library could expand quickly.
The Claws Are Coming Out As Microsoft Debuts Windows 8 (CNN Money)
Partisans previewed Microsoft’s next tablet OS which became a war of words that broke out at the company’s developers conference when they distributed Samsung tablets loaded with beta copies of Windows 8: Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s OS X and iOS, rolled into one. Critics are mixed. While Windows 8 might look like a winner, it’s still a year away. Others believe it’s completely the wrong approach to bundle a PC OS and a tablet OS unto one.
While Research In Motion Dies A Slow Death, Apple Might Reap The Rewards (Seeking Alpha)
Jim Cramer believes Research in Motion is dying a slow death at the hands of the iPhone. The company report earnings this Thursday. He expects to hear an “everything is fine” speech due to new phones, which may present a buying opportunity for Apple.
Apple Could Exceed 52-Week Highs Over The Next 12 Months (Seeking Alpha)
Apple has performed exceptionally well during the last month despite panic within the markets. The strength of this stock is a result of successful products and excitement surrounding its long awaited iPhone 5 product. The strong fundamental performance of this company is one of the many reasons that this stock has performed so well during the last month despite a downtrend in the overall markets. A $500 price-target is likely modest.
Apple Put Options Are The Cheapest They’ve Been For A Year (Bloomberg)
If you compare the implied volatility of the options to the historical volatility of the stock, they’re roughly the same right now. But here’s an important point: volatility isn’t the same thing as money. Apple options themselves are selling for relatively high prices right now. In fact, if you use the implied volatility to historical volatility comparison, Research in Motion options are even cheaper that Apple’s.
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