Can Apple Continue Higher?

With shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) trading around $606, is AAPL an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, third-party digital content, and applications. The company’s products and services feature the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and further accessory, service, and support offerings. Apple also delivers digital content and applications through its iTunes, App, iBook, and Mac App stores.

Apple and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) have restarted discussions over a possible settlement to its multiple patent-infringement lawsuits against one another, according to “people directly involved with the matter” cited by The Korea Times. “Samsung has recently resumed working level discussions with Apple and the key issue is how to dismiss all lawsuits,” said the unnamed source. “Some more time will be needed to fix terms of details such as royalty payments in return for using patents owned by each before reaching a full agreement.” The Korea Times’ source also noted that the mixed verdict in the recently concluded Apple v. Samsung trial in California may have spurred the latest attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement. In that trial, a jury awarded Apple nearly $120 million in damages over Samsung’s infringement of several smartphone technology patents held by the iPhone maker.

However, Samsung was also awarded damages in the amount of $158,400 for Apple’s infringement of one its patents. Patent law expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents noted that the last trial was the first time that Apple was found to be infringing on a non-standard-essential patent that Samsung holds. Standard-essential patents, or SEPs, cover essential technologies that companies are required to license under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. Samsung has been widely criticized in European and American courts for using its SEPs to try to win sales bans against its rivals. Last week, Japan’s Tokyo District Court also criticized Samsung’s abuse of the patent system by noting that the Korea-based company had failed to negotiate “in good faith” with Apple for a SEP licensing fee, reports Nikkei.