Most Upgraded Companies
- 31 Upgrades – Apple Inc. (AAPL)
- 21 Upgrades – Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW)
- 19 Upgrades – Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
- 18 Upgrades – LinkedIn Corp (LNKD)
- 16 Upgrades – salesforce.com, inc. (CRM)
- 16 Upgrades – Skyworks Solutions Inc (SWKS)
- 15 Upgrades – Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN)
- 15 Upgrades – Twitter Inc (TWTR)
- 15 Upgrades – Facebook Inc (FB)
- 15 Upgrades – Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)
- 14 Upgrades – Freescale Semiconductor Ltd (FSL)
- 14 Upgrades – Boston Scientific Co. (BSX)
- 13 Upgrades – Ambarella Inc (AMBA)
- 13 Upgrades – ITV plc (ITV)
- 13 Upgrades – Best Buy Co Inc (BBY)
- 13 Upgrades – CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A)
- 13 Upgrades – Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)
- 13 Upgrades – NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI)
- 13 Upgrades – Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATD.B)
- 12 Upgrades – Cavium Inc (CAVM)
- 12 Upgrades – Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN)
- 12 Upgrades – BAE Systems plc (BA)
- 12 Upgrades – Mallinckrodt PLC (MNK)
- 12 Upgrades – Pearson plc (PSON)
- 12 Upgrades – Actavis plc (ACT)
(Bloomberg) — The countdown has begun to Apple Inc.’s next big thing: the Watch.
The company on Thursday sent out invitations to an event on March 9 in San Francisco, where it will unveil details for the release of the Apple Watch, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Optimism about Apple has been growing since Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook first took the wraps off the smartwatch, along with larger-screened iPhones, in September. The new phones helped fuel record profit in the last three months of 2014. Apple shares are trading near all-time highs, giving the company a market capitalization of about $758 billion. The event gives Cook the chance to show off the gadget’s capabilities and convince consumers they need one.
“The development community has had at least three months to start writing apps so I think they’ll profile some of the best apps,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Inc. “It will start giving us reasons for why we may want the watch.”
Cook said last month that the smartwatch will ship in April. The connected, fitness-tracking wristwatch is the first entirely new gadget line to debut since he took the helm at Cupertino, California-based Apple. The company hasn’t given much information about the gadget’s battery life or how much models will cost, other than $349 for the basic version.
“Spring forward,” reads the invitation to the event, to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater at 10 a.m. The headline refers to the annual switch to daylight savings time, when Americans move their clocks and watches forward by one hour. This year, the time shift begins on March 8, a day before Apple’s event. The event’s focus will be Apple Watch, said the person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not be identified because the topic wasn’t made public.
Apple Watch, with a rectangular touch-screen face, includes sensors to detect pulse rates and other health-related features and must be paired with an iPhone to work properly. It will come in two sizes and three styles — classic, sports and gold editions. The company may give more details about styles and prices at the event.
“The creativity and the software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting,” Cook said when he announced the watch would begin shipping in April.
Morgan Stanley has projected Apple Watch will generate $8.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015, including $1.35 billion in the March quarter, while RBC Capital Markets said Apple could “conservatively” generate $6.5 billion from 20 million watch shipments.
At a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference earlier this month, Cook talked about uses for the watch, saying he uses it to track his activity levels.
“If I sit for too long it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move because a lot of doctors believe that sitting is the new cancer,” he said. “It’s something that you’re going to think, ‘I can’t live without this anymore.’”
The introduction of Apple Pay last Monday was widely described as the dawn of a new era for smartphone payments.
But within a week, two major pharmacy chains, Rite-Aid and CVS, rejected Apple’s version of the future: Both disabled Apple Pay (as well as other tap-to-pay mobile payments systems Google Wallet and Softcard). As expected, customers took to Twitter to complain, and they almost universally sided with the smartphone company over the drug stores.
CVS hasn’t publicly explained itself. Rite-Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower defended the company in an email to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We are continually evaluating various forms of mobile payment technologies, and are committed to offering convenient, reliable, and secure payment methods that meet the needs of our customers,” she wrote.
That’s not the whole story. Objections to Apple Pay aren’t actually about convenience, reliability, or security—they are about a burgeoning war between a consortium of merchants, led by Walmart, and the credit card companies. Rite-Aid, CVS, Walmart, Best-Buy and about 50 other retailers have been working on their own mobile payments system, called CurrentC. Unlike Apple Pay, which works in conjunction with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, CurrentC cuts out the credit card networks altogether. The benefit to the merchants is clear: They would save the swipe fees they pay to the credit card companies now, which average about two percent of the cost of transactions.
CurrentC is also likely to allow merchants to gather data about transactions and offer discounts and loyalty programs. This stands in marked contrast to the anonymity built into Apple Pay, which has drawn concerns even from some merchants who are actively supporting the system.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook would be happy to have this fight with MCX’s backers. When he introduced Apple Pay last month, Cook said mobile payments had failed so far because they were built to serve the business models of their creators, rather than to provide a useful experience for customers. Because Apple’s primary goal is to sell more phones, tablets, and laptops, its system is more straightforward.
Rite-Aid and CVS screwed up the optics on this one. It’s hard to argue that you’re doing right by your customers when you stop accepting a form of payment that you’ve already demonstrated presents no technical hurdles. They also don’t have an alternative to offer. CurrentC isn’t expected to be ready until 2015, and the specifics of the system aren’t public.
The irony of this conflict is that Apple, the innovator, is in the position of endorsing the status quo. Walmart and its brick-and-mortar allies, on the other hand, are actively trying to turn the payments industry on its head and challenge the entrenched power of the credit card networks. Apple is happy to help the incumbents make the existing system feel slicker to customers, without touching the underlying economics. In return, American Express, Visa, and Mastercard have been solidly in Apple’s corner.
AAPL : NASDAQ : US$99.76
Technology — Communications Technology — Wireless Equipment
STRONG RESULTS; RECORD IPHONE 6 UPGRADE CYCLE DRIVES SOLID Q1/F’15 GUIDANCE
Apple reported strong September quarter results above our and consensus estimates. Consistent with our surveys
indicating very strong global iPhone 6 demand with limited supply, Apple
issued strong Q1/F’15 EPS guidance slightly above our estimates as Apple is
currently selling all iPhone 6 devices it can produce. Please see our October
13 report titled “Monthly surveys indicate very strong iPhone 6/6 Plus
demand; limited supply” for more details on our survey work.
We maintain our expectations for a record iPhone 6 upgrade cycle driven by strong
replacement sales to existing iPhone customers and strong high-end
smartphone market share gains due to our surveys indicating a greater mix
of Android smartphone consumers switching to the iPhone 6 smartphones
than during the iPhone 5 series launches. Mac sales were also above our
expectations as Apple gained material PC market share during the important
back-to-school season. We reiterate our BUY rating and increase our price
target to $120 from $115.
Apple reported Q4/F’14 sales of $42.1B and EPS of $1.42, above our
$39.7B/$1.28 and consensus of $40.0B/$1.30. The strong results were
driven primarily by stronger iPhone sales of 39.3M units at $606 ASP
versus our above-consensus 37.7M/$574 estimates.
We believe Apple’s Q1/’15 sales guidance in the range of $63.5-66.5B
was adversely impacted by F/X from the stronger dollar and iPhone
demand well above Apple’s ability to supply throughout the December
quarter. Our updated estimates are at the high-end of Apple’s guidance
due to our surveys indicating an increasing sales mix of higher-ASP
64GB (versus 16GB) iPhone 6/6 Plus SKUs combined with a growing
demand for the higher-ASP iPhone 6 Plus, particularly in China. We
anticipate materially higher iPhone ASPs during Q1/F’15 and maintain
above-consensus iPhone ASP of $680 adjusting for deferred revenue.
Given the strong results and guidance, we maintain our bullish F2015
product cycle thesis and raise our F’15/F’16 EPS estimates from
$7.77/$8.19 to $8.00/$8.50.
Our $120 price target is based on shares trading at roughly 14x
our F2016 EPS estimate.
It’s a good thing that some people can’t buy BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)’s Passport phone, Chief Executive Officer John Chen said.
That means it’s popular.
Disclosure : Blackberry remains one of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts largest long positions.
Shortages of the business-focused smartphone show that efforts to turn around the unprofitable company, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd. (BB), are taking hold, Chen told an MIT Enterprise Forum event today in Hong Kong. Demand for the phone — the first major new device released globally since Chen took charge in November — has exceeded the Canadian company’s expectations.
“I’m glad to have inventory issues. It shows that people want the phone,” said Chen, 59. “We took a very conservative approach and didn’t order too many.”
In his attempt to return the company to profitability by 2016, Chen is focusing on products such as the BlackBerry Blend feature that appeals to corporate customers because it helps them merge work and personal information. BlackBerry’s smartphone shipments sank to 13.7 million units last year from 52.3 million in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as it struggled to compete with touch-screen devices produced by Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co.
The Passport pre-sold 200,000 units in the first two days, selling out in six hours on BlackBerry’s website and within 10 hours on Amazon.com. The square-screen smartphone is designed for business users who write e-mails, study spreadsheets and read documents on their phones.
BlackBerry was focused on the 30 percent of the market that sees their phones as a tool, not as an entertainment portal, Chen said.
“That is not a space that we can afford to be in now. Being sexy and being a workhorse are two different things,” he said.
Chen, a Hong Kong native, said he doesn’t yet have a strategy for expanding into China. The company got 16 percent of its sales from the Asia-Pacific region during the fiscal year that ended in March, compared with 19 percent from the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chen said he hopes to get ideas when he attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing next month, his first trip to the country as CEO.
“China is too big a market to ignore,” Chen said. “It is clear that BlackBerry needs to and should be in that market.”
Shares of BlackBerry rose 1.3 percent to $9.42 at 9:37 a.m. New York time.
AVGO : NASDAQ : US$83.47
Avago Technologies Limited is a designer, developer and
global supplier of analog semiconductor devices. Avago
offers products in three primary target markets: wireless
communications, wired infrastructure, and industrial and
automotive electronics. Applications for Avago products
include smartphones, connected tablets, consumer
appliances, data networking and telecom equipment, and
enterprise storage and servers.
Technology — Communications Technology — Semiconductors
RAISING ESTIMATES BASED ON STRONG IPHONE 6 CONTENT SHARE AND INCREASED IPHONE 6 ESTIMATES
Investment recommendation: Based on our analysis, industry
conversations, and recent iPhone 6 teardown reports, we believe Avago has
roughly doubled its dollar content in the recently launched iPhone 6/6 Plus
smartphones versus the iPhone 5s/5c models and has the highest RF dollar
content share among the RF suppliers. With our recent surveys indicating
extremely strong demand for the new iPhone 6 products, we anticipate very
strong Q4/14 iPhone sales and high-end smartphone market share gains for
Apple versus high-tier Android OEMs, particularly Samsung. Given Avago’s
strong dollar content in the new iPhones and our recently raised iPhone
estimates, we are raising our Avago estimates. We reiterate our BUY rating
and raise our PT to $97.
Our recent surveys and analysis indicate very strong iPhone 6 demand,
and we anticipate a record iPhone 6 upgrade cycle. Please see our
separate Apple note, published Sept. 22, titled “Monthly surveys
indicate record iPhone 6 upgrade cycle, strong market share gains,” for
our updated iPhone estimates.
We estimate the RF front-end content in the iPhone 6/6 Plus increased
to roughly $15.25-15.50 per device versus $11.25-11.50 in the iPhone
5s/5c models due to increased LTE band support and features such as
envelope tracking and carrier aggregation. Due to the increased
number of higher-frequency bands supported that require FBAR filters,
we believe Avago increased its RF dollar content to roughly $6/iPhone 6
models versus roughly $3 in the iPhone 5s/5c.
While we believe Avago has growing dollar content in other flagship
Android smartphones such as Galaxy Note 4, Avago has stronger dollar
content share in the iPhone 6 devices given Android smartphones tend
to support more regional LTE SKUs. Therefore, we believe Avago will
benefit from strong iPhone 6/6 Plus sales despite our recently lowered
Android estimates due to share losses to the iPhone 6 products.
Given these trends, we raise our F2014/15 Wireless business sales
estimates, resulting in our F2014/15 pro forma EPS estimates
increasing from $4.63/$6.35 to $4.65/$6.45
Our $97 price target (was $95) is based on shares trading at
roughly 15x our F2015 pro forma EPS estimate.