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Fly News Breaks for March 20, 2017
Mar 20, 2017 | 08:02 EDT
RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani believes that the unit sales and growth of iPhone 8, due out in September, "could match or even surpass" the performance of the iPhone 6. The analyst expects the iPhone 8 to feature wireless charging and an improved processor., as well as "a complete redesign." He believes that the redesign can cause Apple's share gains to accelerate, enabling the growth of its services business to increase. Daryanani keeps a $155 price target and an Outperform rating on the shares.
News For AAPL From the Last 2 Days
Mar 24, 2017 | 16:43 EDT
Stocks ended the week lower as the negotiations toward a planned House vote on the Republicans' "American Health Care Act" took center stage. Many doubted the bill would gather enough votes to pass and move to the Senate and in the end House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump agreed that it was best to pull the bill that was meant to replace the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare. MACRO NEWS: The House Rules Committee cleared Friday morning the Republican's "American Health Care Act" to repeal and replace Obamacare out of committee by a vote of 9-3, setting up for a final floor vote to pass the bill. However, right before a vote was intended to occur near 3:30 pm ET, Speaker Ryan, at the urging of President Trump, pulled the bill, saying Republicans "came up short" and would now move on with the rest of their "ambitious agenda"... In the U.S., the Chicago National Activity index rose to 0.34 in February. The current account deficit did not widen as expected in the fourth quarter, coming in at $112.4B compared to a deficit of $113.0B in the third quarter. The FHFA home price index was flat in January at 242.6. Existing home sales fell 3.7% to a 5.48M rate in February. Initial jobless claims surged 15,000 to 258,000 last week. New home sales rose 6.1% to a 592,000 rate in February. Durable goods orders rose 1.7% in February. Markit's manufacturing PMI was 53.4, with the services index at 52.9, in the preliminary March readings... In Asia, Japan's exports increased at an annualized 11.3% rate in February, while imports rose 1.2%. The Nikkei Flash Japan manufacturing PMI slowed to 52.6 in March... In Europe, the U.K. said it will formally trigger its exit from the EU on March 29. Triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal procedure for leaving the bloc, will open a two-year timetable for negotiations, with Britain able to leave the EU by 2019. U.K. consumer prices rose 0.7% in February. A Eurozone consumer confidence reading rose by 1.2 points to -5.0 in March. Markit's Eurozone composite PMI climbed to 56.7. COMPANY NEWS: Following media reports earlier in the week that AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) have suspended advertising from Alphabet's (GOOGL, GOOG) YouTube and other Google properties over concerns the tech giant isn't doing enough to prevent brands' ads from appearing next to offensive material, PepsiCo (PEP), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Dish (DISH) said they were also suspending spending on all Google advertising except targeted search ads, according to The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Starbucks (SBUX) and General Motors (GM) are pulling their ads from YouTube, and 21st Century Fox's (FOXA, FOX) FX Networks is suspending all advertising spending on Google, the publication noted, adding that Toyota (TM) and Microsoft (MSFT) are also monitoring the situation. Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter and Gamble (PG) said they were working with Google but declined to say if they were reducing spending, the report pointed out... Apple (AAPL) announced a red version of its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with a part of the proceeds going toward a charity that helps combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Additionally, the company unveiled a new lower-priced 9.7 inch iPad... Walt Disney's (DIS) "Beauty and the Beast," the latest in a string of live-action remakes of animated classics from the company, topped box offices with a $170M launch in the U.S. alongside $180M from international markets. The company also announced this week that it has extended Robert Iger's contract as Chairman and CEO to July 2, 2019... On Tuesday, bank stocks including JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Citi (C), Bank of America (BAC) had one of their worst days since June as markets worried about the new administration's pro-growth policies and how soon it will be able to deliver on President Trump's promises... General Electric (GE) disclosed that, based on discussions with Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management, it has increased its targeted reduction in Industrial structural costs and modified the performance framework for the members of the company's executive management team to reward them based on the new goals... Sears Holdings (SHLD) said that there was "substantial doubt" that it could continue as a going concern, as bricks-and-mortar stores continue to face challenges in an e-commerce world... Ford (F) said its profit will fall in the current quarter compared to the same period of last year due to higher costs, lower volume, and unfavorable foreign exchange movements... President Trump, speaking from the Oval Office, announced on Friday that Charter Communications (CHTR) will invest $25B in the U.S. and hire over 20,000 workers over the next four years. Additionally, the President announced that his administration has approved the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the previous administration's decision to block the oil project. Trump said that the U.S. Department has signed and issued TransCanada's (TRP) permit, making good on his campaign promise... In M&A news, PPG (PPG) announced that it made an increased offer to acquire AkzoNobel (AKZOY) for EUR90 per ordinary share in cash and stock, or $26.3B, though AkzoNobel has once again rejected the tie-up proposal... Among companies that announced quarterly results this week, FedEx (FDX), Duluth Holdings (DLTH), PVH Corp. (PVH), Five Below (FIVE), and Micron Technology (MU) advanced following their reports, while General Mills (GIS), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Nike (NKE), Silver Wheaton (SLW), GameStop (GME), and Finish Line (FINL) declined. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow fell 1.5% to 20,596.72, the Nasdaq lost 1.2% to 5,828.74, and the S&P 500 declined 1.4% to 2,343.98.
Mar 24, 2017 | 10:31 EDT
Catch up on today's top five analyst downgrades with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Apple (AAPL) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham with analyst Laura Martin saying the stock's rally moved it to within 6% of her prior price target of $150. The analyst, who raised her FY18 estimates and increased her price target to $165, said the stock is still her top pick, citing Apple's recurring revenue, ability to "dominate" the wealthiest part of the world's population and the stock's still-inexpensive valuation. 2. GameStop (GME) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill with analyst Curtis Nagle citing gaming weakness and low visibility. 3. Tesoro (TSO) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse with analyst Edward Westlake saying his longer term view of refining margins remains relatively muted, and business has a more negative grey sky sensitivity than some peers given higher California operational costs and a greater share of R&M income, notwithstanding management's progress on diversification and retail integration. The analyst also lowered his price target on the shares to $93 from $110. 4. Entergy (ETR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman with analyst Michael Lapides citing a "lower expected value" for Entergy's non-regulated segment, a "lower 12-month SOTP target price," and "few catalysts" for the stock. 5. Roper Technologies (ROP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan with analyst C. Stephen Tusa saying the recent share rally appropriately reflects benefits from the Deltek deal and the U.S. election. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
Mar 24, 2017 | 07:42 EDT
RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani predicts that Apple will raise its dividend by 10%-15% and increase its buyback further, possibly to $35B+. The analyst thinks that the company could increase its dividend to 50% of its free cash flow, up from about 25% currently, if a low-cost tax repatriation law is passed. He keeps a $155 price target and an Outperform rating on the stock.
Mar 24, 2017 | 07:39 EDT
As previously reported, Needham analyst Laura Martin downgraded Apple to Buy from Strong Buy after the stock's rally moved it to within 6% of her prior price target of $150. The analyst, who raised her FY18 estimates and increased her price target to $165, said the stock is still her top pick, citing Apple's recurring revenue, ability to "dominate" the wealthiest part of the world's population and the stock's still-inexpensive valuation.
Mar 24, 2017 | 06:58 EDT
Nomura analyst Jeffrey Kvaal raised his price target for Apple to $165 from $135 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares. The stock closed yesterday down 50c to $140.92. In a research note to investors, Kvaal says his analysis of App Store data, coupled with a recent trip to Asia, fuel his belief that the iPhone 8 "super cycle will be significantly larger than consensus anticipates."
Mar 23, 2017 | 13:16 EDT
Micron (MU) is scheduled to report results of its fiscal second quarter after the market close on March 23, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. What to watch for: 1. EPS, REVENUE CONSENSUS UP SINCE MS CONFERENCE: On March 2, Micron said at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference that it had raised its second quarter earnings per share guidance to 86c "plus or minus a few cents" from its previous view of 58c-68c and changed its revenue guidance for the quarter to $4.65B plus or minus $50M from its previous view of $4.35B-$4.7B. Analysts at the time expected the company to report Q2 EPS of 66c on revenue of $4.55B, but those figures have since risen to 85c and $4.64B, respectively. 2. CEO DURCAN TO RETIRE: Early last month, Micron announced the upcoming retirement of chief executive officer Mark Durcan. At the time, the company said that the board of directors formed a special committee to oversee a succession process and has initiated a search for viable candidates. The board had not established a timeframe for such a process and plans to conduct a deliberate review of candidates, the company said. Durcan will continue to lead Micron as CEO during the vetting process. 3. GARTNER PC SHIPMENTS: Global PC shipments amounted to 72.6M units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7% slip from the fourth quarter of the previous year, Gartner said in a preliminary results report in mid-January. For the year, 2016 PC shipments totaled 269.7M units, a 6.2% slide from the prior year. Micron is among publicly traded companies in PCs and PC components, along with Lenovo (LNVGY), HP Inc. (HPQ), Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD), Seagate (STX), Western Digital (WDC), and NVIDIA (NVDA). 4. TOSHIBA CHIP UNIT: In early February, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Micron had submitted a bid to acquire a stake in Toshiba's (TOSBF) memory chip business. SK Hynix and Western Digital also submitted offers, the report said at the time. A week later, Bloomberg reported that Toshiba was considering delaying the potential stake sale and could start discussions with new bidders in addition to those already engaged in talks, the report said at the time.
Mar 23, 2017 | 08:18 EDT
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan met with several Apple suppliers in Asia about the upcoming launch of the next iPhone, noting that they "are excited" and confirmed plans for one OLED model and two LCD models. He came away believing Apple will raise the average selling price "significantly" for the iPhone 8 given the many new features that are expected. With OLED capacity expected to be constrained, demand for the iPhone 8 could outstrip supply for a "couple of quarters post launch," he added. Mohan keeps a Buy rating and $155 price target on Apple shares.
Mar 23, 2017 | 06:06 EDT
Apple has acquired Workflow, an automation tool for iOS, TechCrunch reports. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the report says Apple will keep a team of Ari Weinstein, a former iPhone jailbreaker, Conrad Kramer, Ayaka Nonaka and Nick Frey. Apple will also make the Workflow app available for free in the App Store. Reference Link
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