Apple Recap: China Mobile Deal, Rumor Killing, Price Target Shocker
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) finally picked up some steam on Thursday, closing 1.24 percent up at $523.51 after getting lift from news that chief executive Tim Cook may have brokered a deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). And although Apple bull Gene Munster announced later in the afternoon that he had cut his price target on the stock, the shares managed to hold on to their earlier gains.
Brokering a China Deal
The long-awaited deal between Apple and China Mobile may finally be close after Cook and the wireless provider’s chairman, Xi Guohua, discussed cooperation during a meeting in Beijing. China is one of Apple’s most important markets and holds a huge potential for growth. But China Mobile, with its 707 million subscribers and 64 percent of the country’s domestic mobile phone market, is critical to those growth plans. The two companies have tried in the past to come to an agreement, but failed either because of technical incompatibility issues or those related to shipment commitment and handset subsidy… (Read more)
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Dampener for Rumors?
Apple was not interested in making cheap products, marketing chief Phil Schiller has said in an interview that may be spilling cold water on expectations that the company would launch a low-cost iPhone targeted at emerging markets. Schiller said that while cheaper smartphones were the most successful devices in the Chinese market, Apple did not need to follow the same route. Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, of course, famously criticized smaller-sized tablets before the company went on to launch the iPad mini last October, so it remains to be seen if Schiller’s words ring true… (Read more)
Price Target Shocker
In a development likely to greatly hurt shareholder sentiment, well-known Apple bull Gene Munster cut his price target for the company’s stock. The Piper Jaffray analyst said slightly less optimistic expectations vis-à-vis the company’s profit margins had led to his decision of adjusting the target from $910 to $875 per share. According to Munster, several analysts previously highly bullish toward Apple were beginning to become a little more conservative in their predictions, which could help reduce the enormous expectations Apple has to deal with quarter after quarter. Going into what is likely an important year, the tempered sentiment may in fact help the company, he said… (Read more)
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