For a while, analysts spent most of their time describing the many ways Apple was doomed. But now their tune may be changing, at least when it comes to Apple’s stock price. According to a recent survey of analysts by Fortune, now over 60% of analysts predict Apple’s stock price will rise above $100. This is a significant increase from a year ago, when only 4 out of 45 analysts predicted that Apple’s stock price would rise above $700, the $100-equivalent of Apple’s stock price since its 7-for-1 stock split last month.
The news that Apple planned to unveil its third-generation iPad in early March sent Apple’s stock soaring to $500 and beyond, and it brought back a meme that has come and gone quite frequently over the past year: “Apple is worth more than.” Ever since Apple began to go back and forth with Exxon for the title of most valuable company in the world, the media has become obsessed with finding combinations of companies, national debts and other interesting things that Apple is worth more than. The game has become quite easy now that Apple has put some separation between itself and Exxon — as of market close on Friday, Apple’s market capitalization topped $460 billion while Exxon’s value sat at just under $397 billion — but in the context of Apple’s rivals, there are two key areas where this meme is of particular interest. Read on for more. More →
Shares of HTC’s stock closed down 3.9% at T$871 on Monday, just three days after the the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that the Taiwanese company was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents. The patents were related to a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data,” but the judge’s ruling is still awaiting the review of a 6-member Commission. “We are highly confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible,” HTC’s general council Grace Lei said on Friday “We strongly believe we have alternate solutions in place for the issues raised by Apple. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.” HTC also has an ongoing patent lawsuit against Apple. The Financial Times attributed the sell-off to “investor fears that the legal battle could have wider implications for the competitive balance between Apple and Google Android-based phonemakers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.” More →
Following first-quarter earnings that sent investors and the media into a tizzy, analyst coverage of RIM has been fairly monotone. The consensus? The company is doomed. Sure, there’s been an odd half-hearted vote of confidence here and there, but the majority of analyst coverage we’ve seen has been negative and investors are exiting en masse. In a 45-page report published last Tuesday, however, analysts at Macquarie Capital Markets paint a different picture of RIM’s business. Despite product delays and declining market share, the firm issued an Outperform rating and set a 12-month target on shares of RIM stock at $40. Read on to find out why. More →
Shares of RIM stock have taken a beating since the company announced devastating first-quarter earnings last Thursday. The Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker missed Wall Street’s first-quarter consensus, it lowered its full-year guidance, it announced workforce reductions, it confirmed product delays and investors went running for the door as did a top executive. Since the earnings release last week, RIM’s stock has fallen more than 25%. This is bad news for every RIM investor, but two in particular must be especially upset. RIM Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie collectively own more than 10% of the company, a stake that helped each man achieve billionaire status. Last year, Lazaridis was ranked the world’s 651st richest man by Forbes with a net worth of $1.9 billion, and Balsillie was No. 692 on the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Fast forward to today, and neither man can call himself a billionaire any longer. The cheifs’ stake in the company is still worth more than $1 billion combined, but separately, their net worths are now just roughly $800 million a piece. We doubt the employees set to be laid off in the coming weeks and months will shed any tears for the Co-CEOs’ loss, but it’s just another piece of a puzzle that continues to fall apart. Some analysts believe RIM is hardly out for the count, however, and we agree that the company has a bit of fight left in it. If Balsillie and Lazaridis hope to rejoin the billionaire club, it’s time to put those gloves on and start swinging. More →
In the world of computing, no two companies have more history than Microsoft and Apple. In fact, the companys’ history is 10,124 pixels tall. From modest beginnings to IPOs, and later to global domination, Microsoft and Apple are largely responsible for computers as we know them today. Microsoft concentrated on software early and now owns the lion’s share of the global PC market, and more recently, Apple looked to mobile computing to revitalize its business and its market cap. Of course from an investor’s perspective, the stock chart at the bottom says it all, but as is remarkably evident in looking over the meandering paths these two tech titans have taken, no one knows what the future might hold. The full, extremely large infographic can be found after the break.
This infographic has been updated by its creator and the updated version is now found below. More →
Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu didn’t say that Nokia should go back to making boots in his note to investors on Wednesday, but he came pretty close. Citing Nokia’s inability to adapt in a fast-changing market, Ferragu cut his rating on Nokia stock to under-perform and dropped his price target from $7.33 to $4. “In a fast changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly,” the analyst writes. “The profit warning for the second quarter provided evidence that the next couple of years will prove very challenging, with the gross margin and market share trends of the last 4 quarters continuing, if not accelerating even more. The collaboration with Microsoft now appears to us unlikely to be successful, as Nokia’s brand is losing ground too fast and the window of opportunity for an alternative ecosystem is vanishing rapidly. Even modeling a scenario in which Nokia stabilizes next year leads us to believe that the stock will under-perform over the next twelve months.” Ferragu believes Nokia’s smartphone market share will be cut in half in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, dropping from 38% to just 19%, and he expects Nokia’s overall cell phone market share to slide from 35% to 30%.
Giddy over Apple’s consistent staggering growth — and seemingly giddier over the iPad — Formula Capital managing partner James Altucher believes that Apple is poised to become the first $1 trillion company. In fact, Altucher thinks Apple could already be a $2 to $3 trillion company. According to Altucher, Apple can basically do no wrong — he believes demand for the iPad 2 will continue to grow and then new products like the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will send demand for Apple devices through the roof. He goes on to state that Jobs’ eventual departure from the company won’t even have a significant impact on Apple’s future, as many analysts expect, thanks to other great innovators within Apple such as Tim Cook. Apple’s market capitalization is currently around $320 billion, so its stock price would have to balloon to about $1,000 for Apple to hit $1 trillion. Hit the break for an enthusiastic Altucher talking up Apple in an interview with Business Insider. More →