Archive for 'Apple Inc'

How to Cash in on the Apple Haters

Apple’s secret service must have been nearby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a thousand different ways to make money in the markets and one way is just to buy and hold for the long term and just hold on through all the ups and downs. A lot of Apple fans do just that but what if you could increase  your returns by making money on all the Apple haters out there. Right now the stock seems to be meandering a bit and some investors are about ready to move on to something else.

If you are an Apple bull or a buy and hold forever type, consider selling OTM naked puts on Apple stock to increase overall yield – and make money from Apple bears in the process. Apple’s soft quarter and declining product sales, should be an Apple put seller’s dream come true. With the WWDC behind us, Apple stock has remained sideways. Some commentary suggest that many analysts and observers simply weren’t wowed enough to warrant a spike in Apple’s valuation.

There’s a difference between being bearish on a stock and going out and shorting the stock. One either chooses to not add to his position or puts money in other vehicles to generate alpha, while the latter believes the stock will go down so much that he can generate the most alpha by betting against it. Apple Bears are not terribly skeptical or cynical of Apple’s current business model and potential growth, but they do see it slowing down and have calculated that the recent spike in Apple’s stock will subside and fall from its current 52-week highs.

 It’s important to note that when Pacific Crest downgraded the stock this week, Andy Hargreaves only estimated that it would drop $10, or less than 10% from Apple’s current price. Similarly, while not an outright Apple Bear, I do see the price stagnating or declining from its current levels if no major acquisitions or shifts away from the dependency on the iPhone occur.

Key points are:

  • Decline in iPhone sales and no longer #1 in smartphone market share.
  • Decline in iPad sales and global decline in tablet demand.
  • Apple Watch has yet to definitively prove to be the next flagship product.
  • While Services growth is impressive, will it grow enough to offset declining sales in Apple’s main business – selling iPhones.

Learn more about cashing in with Apple

Profitable Tech Trends for the New Year

You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see the future profits in this sector, it’s already here and getting bigger.

Prognostication is a humbling business. Last year at this time Mark Anderson, a tech futurist type and CEO of the Strategic News Service, predicted that Amazon (AMZN) would have a tough time in 2015, citing e-book squabbles, drone expenditures and the Fire phone flop. Oops.

All Amazon did was blow the doors off in 2105, with the stock up over 120% in a flat market. What’s up with that, Mark? “I thought Jeff [Bezos] was making too many mistakes, and that the shareholders and or customers would take it out on him,” he wrote to me in an email. “But AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been throwing off so much cash that nothing else mattered — even though the NY Times story came out and harmed the company’s reputation, and even though the Harvard Business Review dropped him from first place to near last based on some of these flaws. So, the world did indeed catch on to Jeff’s issues, but cloud computing saved the day.”

Fair enough Mark, and good for you for owning up to your miss. (And by the way, Mark had some good calls too.)

With that cautionary tell in mind, I set out to make some calls of my own, putting out three big tech trends for 2016. These aren’t the “holy-crow-I-never-even-thought-about-that” variety. Rather, they’re existing trends that I think will either hit the mainstream, become part of the public conversation, or have mega implications for investors in 2016. So here goes:

—VR. (If you have to ask what that means, you are officially behind the eight ball.) VR stands for virtual reality, of course, and yes, it’s those goofy headsets that zoom you into another world, and yes, you’ve been hearing about them for a few years now. But the point is that 2016 is the year these puppies will actually roll out to the general public. Even more significantly, VR really looks to be a major, incipient, platform battleground in the world of Tech. To wit: Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) are debuting VR products next year. So, too, is HTC, which may be a Hail Mary for that company. Google (GOOGL) has already introduced Google Cardboard, a low-end VR offering and has also invested in a stealth VR company with the ultimate VC-bait name: “Magic Leap.” But maybe Facebook (FB) will plant the biggest stake in the ground with a product from its Oculus Rift subsidiary, which Zuck & Co. bought for $2 billion in 2014. How big a deal is this? In a recent interview I did with Facebook’s head of sales, Carolyn Everson, she talked about how the company operates with mobile as its primary platform today but then went on to characterize Oculus thusly: “We think that can be the next operating system for the future.” Wow! No small thing there. (If you want to see how enamored Zuck himself is of Oculus, check out this Vanity Fair piece.) Still early days here. Oculus will only work on high-end PCs (which is weird), and the audience is all about gamers for now. But 2016 is merely year one. What the VR biz looks like in 2026, no one knows, but it will be big.

 

See more of the future

Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ: IBKR) Makes Zacks Bull of the Day

Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ: IBKR) Makes Zacks Bull of the Day-Image by babblingdweeb via Flickr

Zacks Equity Research highlights Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) as the Bull of the Day and Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our recommendation on Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR) to Outperform as its brokerage business continued to perform well and the company reinstated its quarterly dividend. Despite declining market volumes, Interactive Brokers’ Market Making segment is positioned to improve on better revenue capture.

We expect the company’s strategy with respect to structural changes in the business to bode well. Also, larger average trade sizes continue to improve its Electronic Brokerage segment results.

Our six-month target price of $17.00 per share equates to about 13.5x our earnings estimate for 2011. Combined with a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share, this target price implies an expected total return of 23.1% over that period. This is consistent with our Outperform recommendation.

Bear of the Day:

Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER) is a leading provider of automated test equipment. The company’s second quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus, although revenue growth was sluggish. Forward guidance indicates slack demand, particularly for back-end testing equipment.

While there could be pockets of strength, we think that the negative mix of business, relatively lower exposure to the memory segment and the uncertainty at semiconductor manufacturers will impact results in the next few quarters. As a result, we think that investors are likely to discount the product lineup, leaner cost structure and strong balance sheet.

The company is expected to return earnings growth of 11.9% compared to the peer group average of 12.6%. We believe there is further downside to the shares and we are therefore downgrading the shares to Sell. Our price target also moves from $17 to $12 (10.3X P/E).

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Google Hits Another Homer in Q3

Even though analysts seemed a tad wary of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) 3rd quarter 2011 earnings numbers after the closing bell today, the search engine king stepped up to the plate and took one long. Revenues of $9.72 billion were up 33% year over year and 8% sequentially. Diluted EPS (how Zacks reports Google’s earnings) reached $8.33, easily topping the $7.59 Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The 10% positive earnings surprise bested the average positive surprise over the last 4 quarters of 8.5%, and after-market traders duly took notice. Up 1.91% in regular Thursday trading, GOOG shares have shot up 5.2% in the after-market, which is tempered a bit from the initial reaction to the earnings report.

Kicking off Google’s press release this afternoon was a proud notice that Google+, GOOG’s new social network, has already surpassed 40 million users. Much the way Google has the pluck to have attempted to rival Apple, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone with its Android operating system for smartphones, so does Google+ appear to be going after market share from soon-to-go-public Facebook, Inc.

This all said, Google does have its work cut out for it. Aside from buying Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) for $12.5 billion earlier in the 3rd quarter, Google has also increased its workforce by 10% over the past three months. Add some anti-trust hearings with the Federal Trade Commission and some concerns over Android patent wars, and it may be understandable why 4 analysts have actually downwardly revised estimates over the past month for Q4 and the full fiscal year.

Then again, with Google’s growing reputation of continuing to beat market expectations soundly (nearly always — GOOG did post a 1.4% miss in Q1 2011), we’ll see if some of the 21 current earnings estimates on the company are revised upward in the coming days.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com