Apple Recap: iWatch Trademark, Tax Tangles, and the Apple Ecosystem

Apple Recap Main ImageOn Monday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors learned that the iPhone maker filed for a trademark at Japan’s patent office at the end of June, helping shares climb $12.69, or 3.20 percent, to $409.17. Still, Apple remains the company that investors love to hate, making it stock with a compelling risk/reward profile, according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt. The company’s low valuation — shares sell for just 9.3 times expected 2014 earnings — provides a measure of security, he claimed. That fact should limit the downside from what is expected to be another choppy quarter when the company reports results later this month.

Here’s a cheat sheet to today’s top Apple stories:

Who’s At Fault, Apple Or Tax Codes?

Apple joins Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in paying no taxes in the U.K. for fiscal year 2012, according to a report by The Financial Times. The company hauled in a profit of 68 million pounds in the U.K., while deducting approximately 27.7 million pounds. In Europe, the company made around $36 billion in revenue, claiming $15 billion of that as operating revenue. Its total European and U.K. operations account for more than 10 percent of total sales. Starbucks is facing similar struggles after Reuters found that the company told investors of its profitability while reporting consistent losses to the government there…(Read more.)

Apple’s iWatch Is Looking Less Like a Rumor

Reports that Apple has filed a trademark application for the iWatch in Japan rekindled the rumor mill Monday morning. In keeping with its notoriously secretive reputation, the iPhone maker has yet to announce such a product or mention that it has been working on a new device.

Sources told The Wall Street Journal in February that Apple had a team of about one hundred product designers working on a watch-like device that could perform some smartphone functions. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at an All Things Digital Conference that the market for wearable computing devices is ripe for innovation and that the wrist is a natural place for such a device. On June 3, Apple submitted its application in Japan’s patent office, which made the filing public Thursday. The filing was made one month after the company reportedly began testing 1.5-inch OLED screens. Such a display would keep any device thin and light, two key requirements for a smart watch… (Read more.)

Analyst: Apple Ecosystem Will Keep Growing

Reports that Apple has filed a trademark application for the iWatch in Japan rekindled the rumor mill Monday morning. In keeping with its notoriously secretive reputation, the iPhone maker has yet to announce such a product or mention that it has been working on a new device.

Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt raised the price target for the stock to $600 and increased his estimate of third-quarter iPhone sales from 27 to 28 million units. He cited Apple’s affluent and dedicated customer base and the 90 percent retention rate of iOS devices as reasons for his optimism. But, most importantly, McCourt believes Apple is on the cusp of a second wave of mobile computing technology that will prove the naysayers who have been complaining about a lack of new products from the company wrong.

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