Category: AAPL

AAPL – Are You a Growth Investor? This 1 Stock Could Be the Perfect Pick

It doesn’t matter your age or experience: taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for all investors. Luckily, Zacks Premium offers several different ways to do both.

The popular research service can help you become a smarter, more self-assured investor, giving you access to daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens.

Zacks Premium includes access to the Zacks Style Scores as well.

What are the Zacks Style Scores?

The Zacks Style Scores is a unique set of guidelines that rates stocks based on three popular investing types, and were developed as complementary indicators for the Zacks Rank. This combination helps investors choose securities with the highest chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.

Each stock is assigned a rating of A, B, C, D, or F based on their value, growth, and momentum characteristics. Just like in school, an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on — that means the better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform.

The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:

Value Score

Finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value, are what value investors like to focus on. So, the Value Style Score takes into account ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to highlight the most attractive and discounted stocks.

Growth Score

Growth investors, on the other hand, are more concerned with a company’s financial strength and health, and its future outlook. The Growth Style Score examines things like projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow to find stocks that will experience sustainable growth over time.

Momentum Score

Momentum traders and investors live by the saying “the trend is your friend.” This investing style is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock’s price or earnings outlook. Employing factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates, the Momentum Style Score can indicate favorable times to build a position in high-momentum stocks.

VGM Score

If you want a combination of all three Style Scores, then the VGM Score will be your friend. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, helping you find the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum. It’s also one of the best indicators to use with the Zacks Rank.

How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank

The Zacks Rank, which is a proprietary stock-rating model, employs earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company’s earnings expectations, to make building a winning portfolio easier.

It’s highly successful, with #1 (Strong Buy) stocks producing an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988. That’s more than double the S&P 500. But because of the large number of stocks we rate, there are over 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, plus another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.

This totals more than 800 top-rated stocks, and it can be overwhelming to try and pick the best stocks for you and your portfolio.

That’s where the Style Scores come in.

You want to make sure you’re buying stocks with the highest likelihood of success, and to do that, you’ll need to pick stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B. If you like a stock that only as a #3 (Hold) rank, it should also have Scores of A or B to guarantee as much upside potential as possible.

As mentioned above, the Scores are designed to work with the Zacks Rank, so any change to a company’s earnings outlook should be a deciding factor when picking which stocks to buy.

Here’s an example: a stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, even one with Style Scores of A and B, still has a downward-trending earnings outlook, and a bigger chance its share price will decrease too.

Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.

Stock to Watch: Apple (AAPL Free Report)

Apple’s business primarily runs around its flagship iPhone. However, the Services portfolio that includes revenues from cloud services, App store, Apple Music, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and licensing and other services now became the cash cow.

AAPL is a #2 (Buy) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of B.

Additionally, the company could be a top pick for growth investors. AAPL has a Growth Style Score of B, forecasting year-over-year earnings growth of 58.2% for the current fiscal year.

Two analysts revised their earnings estimate higher in the last 60 days for fiscal 2021, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0.09 to $5.19 per share. AAPL also boasts an average earnings surprise of 23%.

With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Growth and VGM Style Scores, AAPL should be on investors’ short list.

AAPL – Could NFL Sunday Ticket End Up on Apple TV+?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is throwing its hat into the ring in the bidding war for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, according to a report from The Information. Sunday Ticket includes every out-of-market game, and it’s currently only available to AT&T‘s (NYSE:T) DirecTV subscribers.

Apple isn’t the NFL’s only suitor, though. Other big streaming companies with deep pockets, including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Disney (NYSE:DIS), are also interested. Do the expensive sports rights make sense for Apple?

A football on a field with players standing in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

A massive loss leader

When DirecTV renewed its Sunday Ticket contract with the NFL in 2014, it reportedly paid $1.5 billion per year. At the time, it had about 2 million subscribers paying $300 per year for the package. It doesn’t take an advanced mathematics degree to see DirecTV took a loss on its deal with the NFL to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

That was confirmed in AT&T’s disclosures regarding its planned spin-off of DirecTV. AT&T will eliminate $2.5 billion of losses from Sunday Ticket in the deal. 

If the NFL’s deals to renew its contracts with the broadcast networks and Amazon earlier this year are any indication, the price has gone up. The average of those contracts increased more than 66% from the previous round. The pricing pressure is exacerbated by the fact that the rise of streaming has likely brought in additional interested parties beyond traditional TV distributors for the Sunday Ticket package.

Whoever wins the package could end up paying more than $2.5 billion per year.

Apple certainly has the cash to afford the Sunday Ticket package, but it’s unclear how the iPhone maker could really benefit from adding NFL games to its list of offerings.

Apple TV+ is already a loss leader

If Apple buys the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, it would likely be an add-on for Apple TV+ or perhaps the Apple One subscription, which offers multiple tiers of bundled services. But Apple has already invested billions of dollars into content for its video streaming service without much to show for it.

While it may have millions of viewers, only a handful are actually paying for Apple TV+. The company strategically ended most of its early free trials this month, coinciding with the season 2 premiere of the successful Ted Lasso, New Apple device customers only get a 3-month trial now, indicating it’s starting to see some traction.

The goal, however, isn’t to make money directly from Apple TV+ subscriptions; it’s to sell more iPhones and Apple One subscriptions. And spending on original content instead of licensing NFL rights may be a more efficient way to drive customers to those end results. 

A deep library of original content with broad appeal will attract more customers than access to every Sunday NFL game during the season. Apple wants tens of millions of subscribers, not a couple million.

Building a compelling library of original content just takes time. Netflix has a decade head start and Disney’s 100 years ahead.

Amazon and Disney make more sense

Amazon or Disney’s ESPN are much better fits than Apple for the Sunday Ticket package. Both already have existing deals with the NFL for weekday football games, and thus already market their services toward NFL fans. What’s more, they each stand to benefit more directly from additional subscribers to their services.

Amazon could require a Prime membership for access to Sunday Ticket subscriptions, adding it as another Prime Channel on its service. Each new Prime member Amazon signs up or each member it retains represents significant value for the online retailer.

Meanwhile, Disney has an opportunity to offer Sunday Ticket through its ESPN+ subscription. It recently raised the price of the service to $7 per month or $70 per year after raising the price for its UFC pay-per-view again earlier this year. Management previously forecast ESPN+ would become profitable as a stand-alone business by 2023, reaching 20 million to 30 million subscribers. Adding Sunday Ticket can help it reach that scale and improve engagement with premium content.

The competition has more incentive than Apple to buy the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and the deep pockets to win the bid. But, in my opinion, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Apple didn’t win the streaming rights.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

AAPL – Here's Why Apple Stock Has Room to Run Higher

The iPhone 6 series was a landmark device for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) when it was launched in September of 2014, as it marked the company’s transition toward bigger screens. The iPhone 6 and the bigger iPhone 6 Plus were runaway hits among consumers: Apple sold 10 million units of the devices in just three days of their launch.

The sales momentum of the iPhone 6 models spilled over into 2015. In the first quarter of that year, Apple’s iPhone sales surged 41% year over year to 74.5 million units, beating Wall Street’s estimates of 67 million by a wide margin. Apple ended up shipping a record 231 million units in 2015, a number that it hasn’t matched since. It is also worth noting the 478% Apple stock has soared since the iPhone 6 models went on sale in September 2014. But I think that Apple investors can expect a rerun of this impressive stock price rally in the coming years. Let’s see why.

AAPL Chart

AAPL data by YCharts

Understanding the 2014 Apple upgrade cycle

Market research firm Counterpoint Research rightly points out that the iPhone 6 triggered Apple’s first volume supercycle as consumers shifted to larger-screen devices. The first iPhone, launched in 2007, had a screen size of 3.5 inches. Apple stuck to a 3.5-inch screen till the iPhone 4S was released in 2011, before moving to a 4-inch configuration for the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Apple consumers got a taste of bigger screens for the first time with the iPhone 6. While the standard device had a 4.7-inch screen, the Plus model was even bigger at 5.5 inches. Not surprisingly, Apple consumers upgraded in droves, as large-screen phones were all the rage at that time. The company had been selling relatively smaller phones for over seven years by the time the iPhone 6 arrived, so it had a huge installed base that was raring to upgrade. 

Apple’s iPhone installed base stood at 500 million in June 2014, so the tremendous sales growth triggered by the iPhone 6 models was a given. The launch of the iPhone 12 has kicked off another upgrade cycle for Apple, though on a much bigger scale.

Young person loungs on another person's legs on a blue couch while scrolling through their phone.

Image source: Getty Images

The iPhone 12 supercycle is all set to eclipse the last one

Unlike the last iPhone supercycle, which was led by a change in the form factor of smartphones, the current one is being driven by the arrival of 5G wireless technology. Telecom carriers around the globe are rolling out 5G networks at a rapid pace, and that’s encouraging customers to buy devices to take advantage of the fast speeds offered by the new wireless standard.

To put it simply, the current upgrade cycle is being driven by necessity. You can stick to an older phone with a small screen if that’s a personal preference, but faster speeds are something consumers will always like to have. That helps explain why a Counterpoint Research study in 2019 found that consumers were willing to spend 20% more on 5G smartphones.

All of this explains why the iPhone 12 is moving the needle in a big way for Apple. The device has sold 100 million units within just the seven months since it launched, mirroring the initial sales trajectory of the iPhone 6. The iPhone 12 models may have moved more units and exceeded the iPhone 6’s initial performance had Apple not been hamstrung by the global chip shortage, which hindered production during the lucrative holiday season.

However, investors shouldn’t forget that this is just the beginning of the latest upgrade cycle. Counterpoint Research points out that the iPhone 12’s installed base stood at 16% in the first quarter of 2021, which means that 84% of Apple’s customers have yet to upgrade to a 5G smartphone. That’s a huge number, as Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed in January this year that there are more than 1 billion iPhones in use globally.

That means there are more than 800 million iPhone users in an upgrade window, which is way bigger than the company’s installed base in 2014. It is also worth noting that the 5G iPhones are driving Apple’s average selling price higher. So Apple isn’t just poised to record impressive volume growth in the coming years, it may also have some wiggle room to push its prices up.

Analysts expect Apple to ship as many as 250 million iPhones this year, followed by at least 226 million units next fiscal year. That would still leave room for growth in 5G smartphone shipments considering the huge iPhone installed base. Throw in the improved pricing, and it isn’t surprising to see that analysts expect Apple’s earnings to grow at nearly 18% a year for the next half-decade, a big jump over the 8% annual growth seen in the last five years. And don’t forget that Apple’s margins are getting a nice shot in the arm thanks to the growing influence of its services business.

Apple seems to be sitting on much stronger catalysts right now than it was nearly seven years ago, which is why it is likely to remain a top growth stock and potential multibagger, even after so many years of terrific gains.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

AAPL – AAPL Stock: $175 Target From JPMorgan

  • The shares of Apple, Inc (Nasdaq: AAPL) have received a price target increase from $170 to $175 by JPMorgan. These are the details.

The shares of Apple, Inc (Nasdaq: AAPL) have received a price target increase from $170 to $175 by JPMorgan. And JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee reiterated an “Overweight” rating on the company shares.

Chatterjee also added Apple to the Analyst Focus List as a “Growth Idea.” In the research note, Chatterjee said that the data points supporting a favorable view on Apple shares are continuing to trickle in like an increased revision to the iPhone 12 build estimates by JPMorgan’s Apple supply chain analyst along with the continued strength in sales of Mac devices.

Plus Chatterjee believes that Apple shares are positioned for an upside, which is being led by upward revisions to iPhone 12 volumes and share gains in major geographies like China. And there is an upside to investor expectations associated with the upcoming iPhone 13.

Chatterjee believes that investor expectations are conservative for the iPhone 13 though.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.

AAPL – Apple boosting iPhone production by as much as 20% this year: report

Apple Inc. is seeking to sharply ramp up production of iPhones this year, anticipating heavy demand for its upgrade cycle, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday night.

Apple
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has asked its suppliers to build as many as 90 million iPhones in 2021, Bloomberg reported, about a 20% boost from the roughly 75 million units produced in recent years.

AAPL – Apple reportedly planning 'buy now, pay later' service

gettyimages-1219072839

Apple is reportedly tinkering with an installment payment service for Apple Pay.


Getty Images

Apple is developing a new “buy now, pay later” service that’ll let customers pay for Apple Pay purchases on an installment basis over time, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The service, dubbed Apple Pay Later, will use Goldman Sachs as the lender, unidentified sources told the news agency. Goldman Sachs has partnered with Apple on its Apple Credit credit card since 2019, but the new service isn’t tied to the card, Bloomberg reported.

Similar to Apple Card monthly installments, which allow customers to pay off a purchase over a 24-month period, the new service will let Apple Pay users pay off purchases by way of a monthly financing plan. Users will be able to choose between paying for purchases across four interest-free payments made every two weeks or across several months with interest, Bloomberg reported.

The installment plans would compete with similar systems offered by Affirm, Klarna and PayPal.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

AAPL – Apple is reportedly working on a pay later feature for Apple Pay

If you’ve done any online shopping in the last little while, there’s a good chance you’ve run into services like Affirm and PayPal’s Pay in 4. They allow you to purchase something and pay for it later by splitting up the total cost of the item into several installments.

By the looks of things, Apple could soon offer a similar option to Apple Pay users. According to Bloomberg, the company is working with Goldman Sachs on a service called “Apple Pay Later” that will allow those with its devices to settle purchases over time, including ones they make at physical shops.

When using the service, the outlet says you’ll have two ways of paying for your purchase. If you pick the “Apple Pay in 4” option, you’ll need to make four interest-free payments across two months.

The other option is to extend the payment period over multiple months, though in that case interest comes into play. Bloomberg says it wasn’t able to determine how much interest Apple plans to charge or when the company will roll out the service.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the report, and we’ll update this article when we hear back from the company. But in many ways, Apple Pay Later sounds like a logical extension of what the company is already doing with Apple Card, where one of the perks it offers is installment plans for Mac and iPad purchases.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Engadget

AAPL – Expecting More Upside for Apple (AAPL) Heading Into Earnings

As Apple (AAPL) trades at all-time highs, investors are likely asking themselves what’s in store for third quarter earnings. The company reports FY 2021 third quarter results after the close on Tuesday, July 27.

And this mega-cap giant has not been slouching in terms of performance. Shares are up nearly 11% year to date, with most of that surge coming the past few weeks. Incredibly, since June 1, Apple shares have rocketed 18%.

I’m expecting more upside for the stock in the coming weeks and months. That’s based on Apple’s recent history of beating EPS estimates and also how the stock is trading.

Let’s first take a look at Apple’s earnings history over the past four quarters. Apple tends to beat estimates by a wide margin. You can see that in the table below:

YahooFinance


Apple beat estimates by double digits in three out of the four prior quarters.

So, what’s the current trend of earnings estimates for this quarter? It’s following the same trend higher, with EPS estimates increasing the past two months. You can see this in the chart below:

YahooFinance


They say the trend is your friend. Based on Apple’s prior history of beating estimates, that’s not a trend I would want to fight. So, I’m not surprised to see the estimates jumping recently.

And speaking of trends, I also take into account how a stock is trading. Oftentimes, this can clue you in on what to expect going forward. That’s why I pay attention to buy pressure in the shares.

Now, I have a proprietary way of tracking Big Money moving into a stock. But, to show you a way to visualize it, check out how Apple has been in the accumulation phase since June:

TradingView.com


I flagged the level of approximately $125 from two months ago – that’s around the time when the current quarter’s EPS estimates were increased. Clearly, the stock is chasing earnings … which is how stocks work in the first place. To me, that’s another feather in a bullish investor’s cap.

The Bottom Line

So, let’s wrap this all up. Apple has a history of beating analyst estimates for earnings. And the current quarter’s EPS trend is ticking higher with analysts. Additionally, money appears to be pouring into the stock as it breaks out to all-time highs. Those are bullish signs that there may be more upside in the coming weeks and months.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in AAPL at the time of publication.

AAPL – Identity thief used burner phones and Apple Pay to buy diamond-encrusted bitcoin medallion — and actual bitcoin too

It was almost every kind of modern-day financial swindle rolled into one.

The mastermind behind an elaborate stolen credit-card scam that used bitcoin, burner phones and digital wallets such as Apple Pay
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to swipe more than $600,000 in luxury goods, has been sentenced to three years in federal prison. (Apple was not immediately available for comment.)

Prosecutors in Washington state said that between February 2017 and December 2018, Aaron Laws, 33, of Atlanta, bought more than 500 stolen credit-card numbers from the dark web and loaded them onto the digital wallets of prepaid cell phones. Paying with digital wallets means that purchases can be made without having to present an actual credit card.

Laws then enlisted several co-conspirators to go into electronics shops including the Apple store and Best Buy
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and jewelry stores across eight states to buy big ticket items using the stolen card details, prosecutors said. (Best Buy was not immediately available for comment.)

The swag ranged from dozens of Macbooks and iPhones, a $35,000 Rolex watch and multiple pieces of jewelry, including a diamond-encrusted medallion in the shape of the bitcoin symbol.

Prosecutors did not put a price tag on the medallion, but in a single day, Aug. 23, 2017, Laws purchased $93,000 worth of bitcoin BTCUSD, they said. 

Laws would quickly sell the items to other electronics brokers and would take the proceeds to buy bitcoin through accounts he set up in phony names on trading platforms like Coinme, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say Laws had prior arrests for similar kinds of activity in Colorado and Georgia. He was sentenced in 2017 to serve jail time on the weekends in Atlanta for identity theft and financial fraud, yet continued to operate the scam when he was free during the week. 


‘Motivated by greed, this defendant attempted to use digital advances to hide his old-fashioned fraud.’


— Tessa Gorman, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington

“Motivated by greed, this defendant attempted to use digital advances to hide his old-fashioned fraud,” said Tessa Gorman, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington state “At all phases — from accessing the dark web, to loading stolen data onto digital wallets, to acquiring prepaid anonymous phones, to adopting aliases, to laundering money through anonymous cryptocurrency accounts — his operation was sophisticated and difficult to detect.  But ultimately law enforcement stopped him in his tracks.”

In a court filing ahead of his sentencing, Laws admitted he had “clearly made many poor decisions in this case.” He said that the scam had come during a period in his life when he struggled with depression and substance abuse which had started after his pursuit of playing college basketball ended following a serious knee injury.  

A message left with Laws’ attorney wasn’t immediately returned.

Laws was indicted in December 2018, and pleaded guilty in January 2020 to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. In addition to his prison term, Laws was ordered to pay $624,000 in restitution. 

Two co-conspirators in the case, Dennison Ellis and Jeffrey Mayfield, who were childhood friends of Laws’, also pleaded guilty last year. Ellis was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $283,000 in restitution, and Mayfield received time served and was ordered to pay $181,000.

At his sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said Laws “had a very complicated criminal enterprise and nothing seemed to deter him.”