AAPL (NASDAQ:AAPL) Up With The Markets
Despite Europe’s debt crisis deepening, posing a serious risk to the economic outlook globally, Christmas is here for the markets. Shares of AAPL are up with the rest of tech. Catalysts include iPhone upgrade cycles and adoption; update to the iPad in early 2012; continued market share growth of the Mac business line; penetration in China and emerging markets; the evolution and potential re-conception of Apple TV; and platforms such as Siri, mobile advertising (iAd), books and publishing, gaming, mapping and social (Ping). Shares of Apple trade at 8.3x Enterprise Value / Trailing Twelve Months Free Cash Flow (including long-term marketable securities).
Apple Struggling To Take A Bigger Bite Out Of China (Reuters)
Apple is being outpaced by rivals in China. And it’s not that Apple’s iPhones and iPads are losing favor. The problem facing Apple seems to be timing. Network technology is not sufficient to fully support iPhone and iPad capabilities, while other handset makers support the various mobile standards used in China. Partnering with another telecoms service provider would help as well. But the biggest, China Mobile with more than 600 million subscribers, may not have matching technology in place until late 2012 or 2013.
Wall Street Issues Best Stocks Of 2012 Reports (Business Insider)
The race is on to forecast the future:
- Barclays Capital: “Apple is poised to launch a new iPad line-up in the March 2012 time frame, followed by a 4G LTE version of the iPhone (likely the iPhone 5) by the September 2012 quarter. Other catalysts could include increased distribution for iPhones in China.” Potential upside: 42%.
- J.P. Morgan: “Our current estimates point to above-peer revenue and earnings growth, despite current macroeconomic challenges and a large revenue base. Key drivers include increasing sales momentum for iPhone and iPad, as well as sustainable market penetration with the Mac, particularly MacBook Air.” Potential upside: 34%.
Those are quite decent returns.
Just How Strong Is iPhone And iPad Demand? (Fortune)
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty released results of an AlphaWise survey and demand for the iPhone and iPad continue to be strong:
- iPhones are selling surprisingly briskly: Apple could ship anywhere from 31 to 36 million iPhones this quarter, 20-30% higher than what Wall Street is expecting.
- iPhone demand is accelerating: Shockingly, U.S. consumers are expected to buy more iPhones in the first quarter next year than this holiday quarter.
- Tablet demand shows no sign of weakening: Only 8% of U.S. consumers own a tablet today but 27% plan to buy one.
- With a $100 price cut Apple could sell 15 million more iPads
Again, monster quarter on the way.
Acer Chairman Sees Mac Growth Stalling As Ultrabooks Surge (DigiTimes)
Acer is at it again. Chairman JT Wang expects Apple’s gains in the PC industry to weaken over the next two years as a result of a future surge in sales of notebooks matching Intel’s ultrabook design specifications. He admitted that platforms from Apple and Google will join Microsoft and Intel (Wintel) to make up the three major platforms of the PC industry, but he believes new gains from Windows-based PC makers will erase Apple’s recent market share growth.
Amazon Selling 1 Million Kindles Per Week, Close To iPad Rate (Various via Scoople)
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) revealed that the Kindle Fire tablet has sold “millions of units,” but declined to give any specific sales figures. More specifically, the company has sold 1 million Kindles per week for the past three weeks. That encompasses five different devices ranging in price from $79 to $379. The Kindle Fire continues to be the top selling, most gifted, and wished-for product on Amazon.com since its introduction nearly three months ago. At that pace, Amazon is close to Apple’s sales rate for the iPad.
American Airlines Approved To Use iPads To Replace Paper Flight Charts (ZDNet)
Go bankrupt, get iPads for your flight crews. Six months after receiving approval from the FAA to test of iPads as replacements for traditional paper flight charts, American Airlines is set to be one of the first major commercial carriers to use Apple’s device in all phases of flight. Pilots will use the iPad in place of existing 40-pound paper charts and manuals, enhancing efficiency and safety on the flight deck as well as saving an estimated $1.2 million in fuel costs.
Is There An Apple Development Center In The Works In Israel? (Globes)
Rumor has it that Apple has decided to open a development center in Israel focusing on semiconductors. The outpost will be headed by Aharon Aharon, a well established figure in Israeli technology circles. Aharon currently serves as the chairman of radio frequency imaging firm Camero Tech. He has also served on the board of Discretix and once worked as a vice president for Zoran Corporation. Makes sense. The company earlier in the week was rumored to have its eye on buying Israel-based flash storage company Anobit.
Heather Leonard is the Apple analyst at Business Insider.