Tag Archive | "white"

Nokia Refutes Talk Of Microsoft Sale; Ticonderoga Likes It

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Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) have been under pressure this morning, and one thing appearing to contribute to downturn are rumors the company would step in to purchase Nokia (NOK) for $19 billion, according to remarks by Eldar Murtazin, a blogger widely credited with scooping Microsoft’s deal with Nokia earlier this year.

Murtazin’s blog appears not to have that claim today, but he is cited as stating such by Todd Haselton in a piece this morning on BoyGeniusReport.

A Nokia spokesperson, however, tells The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Lawton a short while ago that, “These rumors are completely baseless.”

Murtazin has speculated as recently as May 16th that the two companies were talking about a deal.

Microsoft shares are down 54 cents, or 2%, at $24.47.  Nokia shares are down 34 cents, or almost 5%, at $6.68.

Well, at least one believer this morning is Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities, who follows Apple (AAPL) and has a Buy rating and a $612 price target on that stock.

“We believe reports from Boy Genius highlighting the potential for a Microsoft purchase of Nokia for $19 billion should provide Apple investors with even greater confidence that the company can continue to gain market share at the expense of legacy vendors in the mobile phone market,” writes White.

“In our view, Apple investors could not ask for a better deal, and we believe a transaction would only further Apple’s market share gains in the coming quarters.”

Sounds like White is choosing his words carefully, but it also sounds like he believes the rumor.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: WashPo Describes Gov’t Switch To iPads, GMail

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The Washington Post’s Michael Rosenwald this morning pens an interesting piece about how the federal government, under CIO Vivek Kundra, is letting more and more government workers choose their own gadgets of choice, rather than impose on them use of government-specified devices.

Although a number of anecdotes come up in the piece about Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad, and Google’s (GOOG) Gmail, the article is titled, somewhat more pointedly, “Federal government loosens its grip on the BlackBerry,” meaning, of course, the traditional use of Research in Motion (RIMM) messaging devices.

In part, it’s simply the “consumerization of IT,” as many have identified, and as Kundra maintains, but it’s also RIM’s failure to win third-party developers with a “flexible” software platform, Rosenwald writes.

Rosenwald cites several instances of switchover:

At [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms], there are about 50 iPads or iPhones in use, and the number could increase to 100 soon. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the 1,000 BlackBerrys used last year have dropped to about 700 as workers picked other smartphones. The State Department is testing iPads. Congress now allows iPads and iPhones on the House floor. And the Department of Veterans Affairs is getting ready to allow its clinicians to choose an iPad or iPhone instead of a BlackBerry.

Update: In a note to clients today, Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets, who maintains a Sector Perform rating on RIMM and a $53.45 price target, argues that RIMM will hold onto some clients who prize security above all. Reflecting on the Wash Po article, he writes,

While these developments offer headline risk to valuation and may continue to pressure RIM’s share in the US, BlackBerries are unlikely to lose favor with higher-risk users, as security remains a high priority following recent high profile security breaches and privacy concerns (Lockheed Martin’s secure VPN network was recently hacked, which could slow Android/Apple deployment in regulated industries like banks and the government. The U.S. Senate recently focused on mobile privacy concerns; House oversight committee chair Darrell Issa raised concerns White House employees could circumvent federal record-keeping laws by using iPhone and iPads.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Write-Offs: 05.23.11

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$$$ Spain and Italy Turn Against Greece Over Reform Efforts (NYT)

$$$ Dominique Strauss-Kahn told the New York hotel maid, “Don’t you know who I am! Don’t you know who I am?” while pinning her down during the alleged sexual assault, law enforcement sources close to the investigation told FoxNews.com…“Please stop. I need my job, I can’t lose my job, don’t do this. I will lose my job. Please, please stop! Please stop!” she told Strauss-Kahn, according to law enforcement sources. Strauss-Kahn allegedly responded: “No, baby. Don’t worry, you’re not going to lose your job. Please, baby, don’t worry,” Strauss-Kahn responded, according to investigators. (Fox)

$$$ Belgium’s Debt Outlook Revised to Negative by Fitch on Political Stalemate (Bloomberg)

$$$ ‘Fear Gauge‘ Tops 20 for First Time in Two Months (WSJ)

$$$ How An Inquiry Of Goldman Might Play Out (Dealbook)

$$$ LinkedIn site has security vulnerabilities-expert (Reuters via Easy Street/Heidi Moore)

$$$ David Stockman: “The real problem is the de facto policy of both parties is default. When the Republicans say no tax increases, they’re saying we want the U.S. government to default. Because there isn’t enough political will in this country to solve the problem even halfway on spending cuts. When the Democrats say you can’t touch Social Security, when you have Obama sponsoring a war budget for defense that is even bigger than Bush, then I say the policy of the White House is default as well.” (YouTube)

$$$ AIG Underwriters Signal Deal May Price at Close to $30 (CNBC)

$$$ Walker: US Worse Off Financially Than Euro Nations (CNBC)

$$$ Greece to start selling domestic assets to ease debts (BBC)

$$$ More banks targeted in US probe (FT)

$$$ Carlyle Returns Record $6.4 Billion in First Quarter on Strong Dealmaking (Bloomberg)

$$$ Former Fed Monetary Chief Madigan Hired by Barclays Capital (Bloomberg)

$$$ Steven Cohen wants a five-year-old stock manipulation lawsuit filed by Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings to go away. (Reuters/Unstructured Finance)

$$$ Hintz Says Smith Barney Is ‘Checkmated’ by Krawcheck, McCann (Bloomberg)

$$$ China’s Buffett plays the long game (FT)

$$$ Senate Banking chair Tim Johnson discusses hedge funds [AR]

$$$ IBM passes Microsoft’s market cap after 15 years (Reuters)

$$$ Lady Gaga Breaks Amazon (MarketBeat)

$$$ Barack Obama’s car, nicknamed ‘the beast‘, gets stuck (BBC)



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.20.11

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Goldman Braces for Federal Subpoenas (WSJ)
Goldman Sachs executives expect to receive subpoenas soon from U.S. prosecutors seeking more information about the securities firm’s mortgage-related business, according to people familiar with the situation. Officials at the New York company believe the Justice Department will demand certain documents and other information, possibly within days, these people said.

FrontPoint Partners to Close Funds After Redemption Requests (Bloomberg)
FrontPoint Partners LLC will close some of its hedge funds after clients asked to withdraw money amid charges a manager benefited from an illegal stock tip. “We have received capital redemption requests from some of our clients,” Steve Bruce, a spokesman for Greenwich, Connecticut-based FrontPoint said in a statement today. The firm “will be winding down select strategies.” FrontPoint oversaw $7 billion at the start of November before Chip Skowron, a co-portfolio manager of its health-care funds, was tied to claims by prosecutors that the firm got advance notice on drug-trial results. U.S. officials are pursuing a crackdown on insider-trading at hedge funds, with more than 40 people pleading guilty or facing criminal charges or civil lawsuits for benefiting from non-public information.

Flood of Fees Flows Into Bank Coffers (WSJ)
Fees from IPOs already total $1 billion this year, double the level of last year, and are on pace to hit $2.5 billion, said Richard Peterson, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Corp. Except for 2006, it would be the biggest year for IPOs in the U.S. since the tech boom ended in 2000.

At I.M.F., Men on Prowl and Women on Guard (NYT)
The laws of the United States do not apply inside its walls, and until earlier this month the I.M.F.’s own rules contained an unusual provision that some experts and former officials say has encouraged managers to pursue the women who work for them: “Intimate personal relationships between supervisors and subordinates do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.” “It’s sort of like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’; the rules are more like guidelines,” said Carmen M. Reinhart, a prominent female economist who served as the I.M.F.’s deputy director for research from 2001 to 2003. “That sets the stage, I think, for more risk-taking.”

Long-Ago Affair Might Damage Turkish Candidate’s Chances to Lead I.M.F. (NYT)
But, [Kemal] Dervis, it turns out, has a secret that could disqualify him from being considered for the job. Years ago, while a senior executive at the World Bank, he had an affair with a female subordinate who now works at the I.M.F., according to a person with direct knowledge of the affair.

Fed Sells Out Latest AIG Bond Offering (WSJ)
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Thursday sold all 29 subprime mortgage bonds on offer in its latest sale from a portfolio of securities acquired from American International Group. The securities, held in a legal entity called Maiden Lane II, sold for what the Fed had estimated their fair current value to be, $878.6 million. The debt was part of a clutch of so-called toxic bonds the central bank acquired when it rescued the failing insurer in 2008.

Contrarian Investor Shuns Hot Idea for Bigger Picture (DealBook)
Mr. Thiel is shunning the most popular Internet start-ups because they are not “taking civilization to the next level.” Instead, he’s placing bets in health care, biotechnology and artificial intelligence companies — areas most of his peers have shied away from…According to Mr. Thiel, not enough energy is spent tackling big, challenging problems, like space exploration. Instead, many people are chasing incremental progress and short-term gains.

Citigroup Adds Wolfe to Lead Venture Capital in Tech, Media (Bloomberg)
Wolfe is taking a newly created position at the New York- based bank after working at Union Square Advisors LLC, where he managed venture capital and private equity sponsor coverage, according to a memo to Citigroup employees obtained by Bloomberg News. Citigroup added Union Square co-founder Ethan Topper in April to head global technology banking.

Bank of Japan Refrains From Adding Stimulus (Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan’s policy board unanimously voted to maintain monetary policy even after a report yesterday showed the country slipped into a recession following a record earthquake. Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and his eight colleagues decided to maintain a 30-trillion yen ($370 billion) credit program and a 10-trillion yen asset-purchase fund that represent the bank’s main policy tools.

Bundesbank Says German Economy to Weaken (Bloomberg)
“Growth is likely to ease somewhat in the foreseeable future,” the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in its monthly bulletin published today. The economy’s 1.5 percent growth rate in the first quarter from the previous three months “considerably overstates the underlying economic momentum. Output growth was clearly lifted during the reporting period by backloading and catching-up effects.”

Senate Democrats won’t release their spending plan (WaPo)
Senate Democrats decided Thursday not to release their spending plan to counter the budget blueprint approved last month by House Republicans, saying they will wait to see whether talks at the White House produce a compromise plan for reining in the national debt.

Tepco chief quits after $15 billion loss on nuclear crisis (Reuters)
Tokyo Electric Power Co reported a net loss of $15 billion on Friday to account for the disaster at its Fukushima nuclear power plant, marking Japan’s biggest non-financial loss, and it warned its future was uncertain.

Liberty Media Bids for Barnes & Noble (WSJ)
John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. made an offer Thursday to acquire Barnes & Noble Inc. for $1.02 billion, a dramatic turn for the nation’s largest bookstore chain—which put itself up for sale last summer but struggled to find a buyer as the outlook for traditional booksellers soured. The proposed deal represents a 20% premium over Barnes & Noble’s share price in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday.

Ex-Teammate: I saw Lance Armstrong use EPO (CBS 60 Minutes)
A former teammate of perhaps the world’s greatest cyclist, Lance Armstrong, says he used banned performance-enhancing substances with Armstrong to cheat in pro races, including the Tour de France, the sport’s ultimate event…[Tyler] Hamilton says Armstrong used EPO, a drug that boosted endurance by increasing the amount of red blood cells in his body, to win the 1999 Tour de France, the race he won an astonishing seven times. “I saw [EPO] in his refrigerator…I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times.”

Harold Camping: The Man Behind ‘Judgment Day,’ May 21, 2011 (HuffPo)
He made a similar prediction in the 1990s but later said he didn’t look close enough at the Book of Jeremiah. This time around, he’s absolutely certain.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Apple: China Mobile Deal Coming, Says Ticonderoga

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Apple (AAPL) is closer to a deal to sell its iPhone through China Mobile (CHL), the world’s biggest carrier with 600 million subscribers, writes Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White this morning. White was responding to comments made by chairman Wang Jianzhou this morning at China Mobile’s annual investor meeting.

According to a piece this morning by Bloomberg’s Young-Sam Cho, Wang told the assembled that Apple may produce a version of the iPhone that will work on a forthcoming 4G wireless network standard for China, dubbed “TD-LTE,” having decided to bypass the current “TD-SCDMA” that supports only 3G wireless connections, he said.

White writes, “Keep in mind, China Mobile has more wireless subscribers than any carrier in the world with 601 million at the end of March or 69% market share in the country, while China represents the largest mobile phone market on the planet with 876 million subscribers.” China Mobile has the TD-LTE standard up and running in trials in several cities, he notes, and should spread that throughout the country over the next year to a year and a half.

White notes that during a trip to China in December, he observed that 3 million China Mobile subscribers were already using the iPhone via a special SIM card that the carrier offers that can be inserted into the phone, and Wang today said that the total subs using the iPhone on its network is now 4 million.

White says the introduction of the iPad 2 and the white iPhone 4 in China in recent weeks were met with “Apple fever,” meaning long lines and even some “scuffles,” in some instances.

White reiterates a Buy rating on Apple shares and a $612 price target.

Apple shares today are up 64 cents at $340.51.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

GameStop Falls 7% On Weak Q2, Year View

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Shares of GameStop (GME) are down $1.67, or almost 7%, at $25.01, after the retail chain this morning reported fiscal Q1 results ahead of estimates, but said its profit per share this quarter will miss estimates.

Q1 revenue rose 9.5%, year over year, to $2.28 billion, yielding EPS of 56 cents. Analysts had been modeling $2.23 billion and 54 cents.

Revenue growth was propelled by sales of Nintendo’s (NTDOY) “Pokemon Black & White,” Warner Home Video Games’s “Mortal Kombat,” Capcom’s “Marvel Vs. Capcom 3,” Activision-Blizzard’s (ATVI) Call of Duty: Black Ops, and THQ Interactive’s (THQI) “Homefront.”

GameStop bought back about $118 million of its shares during the quarter, it said.

For the current quarter, the company sees 20 cents to 23 cents in earnings per share, well below the average 28-cent estimate.

GameStop said the current quarter’s profit is being reduced by about 4 cents per share in investment spending on “strategic initiatives.”

GameStop also reiterated an expectation for $2.82 to $2.91 per share in profit this year, which is slightly below analysts’ $2.91 estimate, at the midpoint.

GameStop will host a conference call this morning at 11 am, Eastern, which you can catch here.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 05.19.11

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I.M.F. Chief Quits in Wake of Charges of Sexual Attack (NYT)
“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of managing director of the I.M.F.,” he said in a statement dated Wednesday and released early Thursday by the I.M.F. “I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends.”

Most French People ‘Think DSK Was Set Up’ (Sky News)
The survey, taken before the 62-year-old’s first court appearance on Monday, showed that 57% of respondents believe the Socialist presidential hopeful has been set up.

Lagarde May Stake Claim as First Female IMF Chief (Bloomberg)
A lawyer who became the first female chairman of Chicago- based firm Baker & McKenzie LLP, Lagarde was appointed as finance minister by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, just before the onset of the financial crisis. Lagarde’s negotiating abilities helped clinch agreement on the euro area’s sovereign bailout fund announced in the early hours of May 10 last year, according to a person who was there…A fluent speaker of English, Lagarde attended a year of high school as an exchange student at Holton Arms, a private girls’ school in Bethesda, Maryland. An avid swimmer, young Christine was selected for the French national synchronized swim team when she was 15 and competed internationally for two years.

J.P. Morgan, Fund Investors Rebut Meredith Whitney (MarketBeat)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management chucked a note over the transom in response to Meredith Whitney’s latest hate letter to the muni market.Their take is that Ms. Whitney makes some points they sort of agree with, but that she seriously overstates the default risk.

Levin sees ‘real hope’ of fresh Goldman probe (FT)
The senator said Goldman’s payment of $550m to settle fraud allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the marketing of one structured debt product did not preclude other allegations. He said Goldman executives misled his committee but suggested they might have stopped short of lies with “wiggle words”. “They obviously spent a lot of time parsing words,” he said, adding he was “not going to judge whether they committed perjury”. He said even large settlements were not satisfactory without admissions of guilt.

Goldman Sachs Back at No. 1 (Deal Journal)
According to figures from Dealogic, Goldman popped to the No. 1 spot for the first time this year in the league tables, the closely watched listing of M&A advisers ranked by the value of deals on which they advise. J.P. Morgan had held the crown for global deal advisers since Jan. 18.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s two sons born days apart (CNN)
A son fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger with his housekeeper was born less than a week after Maria Shriver gave birth to another Schwarzenegger son, according to birth records obtained Wednesday by CNN.

SEC probes electronic platform failures (FT)
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating computer system failures at electronic marketplaces including Nasdaq to determine whether internal controls are sufficient, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation is being handled by the enforcement division’s market abuse unit and is part of a broader regulatory review of stock exchanges following last year’s “flash crash”, recent hacking attempts and trading glitches

Perella Weinberg to Fork Over $11.5 Million in Dreier Fraud (Deal Journal)
Under the deal, [Chapter 11 trustee Sheila M.] Gowan will drop a lawsuit in which she sought the return of $24.1 million in payments she says Perella Weinberg and an affiliated fund received on the approximately $60 million they spent on the promissory notes that Dreier was hawking to investors such as themselves.

Smith Barney Deal Still On (WSJ)
In its first-quarter report, Morgan Stanley posted a $655 million pretax loss related to the Mitsubishi joint venture. After reports surfaced about the loss, Mitsubishi agreed to convert $7.8 billion in preferred stock for 385 million shares of the company. That conversion boosted Morgan Stanley’s Tier 1 ratio and presumably will give it added capital for the planned buyout of Citigroup’s stake in the Smith Barney venture. Morgan Stanley can begin buying that stake next year under its agreement with Citi. Mr. Gorman said reports of Morgan Stanley asking Citi to alter the terms of that deal weren’t true.

Nominations Submitted for the SEC (WSJ)
The White House on Wednesday submitted to the Senate a pair of nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting a second term for Democrat Luis Aguilar and naming former SEC staffer Dan Gallagher Jr. for a Republican seat that is due to become vacant in June…The SEC is an independent federal agency with five commissioners.

LinkedIn prices IPO at $45 a share (MarketWatch)
LinkedIn had raised its IPO pricing range earlier this week to between $42 and $45 a share, from $32 to $35 a share — thanks to strong demand. The public offering is expected to raise roughly $217 million for the company.

Yen falls as Japan enters recession (FT)
Gross domestic product fell by an annualised 3.7 per cent in the first three months, after a revised fall of 3 per cent in last quarter of 2010. Analysts had expected the economy to contract by just 1.9 per cent. A further contraction is expected in the second quarter before the economy rebounds as reconstruction spending kicks in, although the Japanese economy has suffered more than a decade of low growth and weak consumer spending.

Obama imposes sanctions on Syrian leader, 6 aides (WaPo)
The Obama administration ramped up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday with economic sanctions that targeted his personal finances and linked him explicitly to human rights abuses in his government’s brutal, two-month-old crackdown on demonstrators. The sanctions, which named six other top Syrian officials, represented a significant escalation in the administration’s public criticism of the Assad regime, marking the first time the ruler was penalized for the ongoing clashes that have left more than 900 people dead and thousands in prison.

Zombie Apocalypse? The CDC Describes How To Be Prepared (HuffPo)
The U.S. government wants to make sure that in the event of a zombie invasion, you know what to do. That’s right. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shocked us all with their post on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. The CDC post, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse,” came out Monday and has been gaining media traction since — the link has been down for much of the day, presumingly due to over-traffic.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Cisco: Despite Downgrades, Hope Springs Eternal

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As I wrote earlier, Cisco Systems (CSCO) was the subject of two downgrades this morning as the Street mulls the difficult work the company has ahead of it to fix its business.

The stock is currently down 93 cents, or 5%, at $16.85.

But it’s not all glum: there are some upbeat notes out there as well. In particular, I would note that folks are raising their EPS estimates this morning on cost-cutting expectations even as they take down their revenue numbers for Cisco for this year and next.

Brent Bracelin, Pacific Crest: Reiterates an Outperform rating and lowers his price target to $22 from $25. “Simplifying and streamlining Cisco’s operating model are now under way […] If 30% to 50% of these savings fall to the bottom line, EPS could be $0.04 to $0.07 higher.” And he raised his EPS estimates for this fiscal year to $1.61 from $1.59, and for next year to $1.75 from $1.72.

Brian White, Ticonderoga Securities: Reiterates a Buy rating and a $28 price target. “The combination of axing unrealistic financial targets and taking full responsibility for Cisco’s challenges over the past year, while outlining actions to simplify the company […] was a refreshing tone that we believe is setting up the early stages of a turnaround at Cisco,” writes White. “Given the combination of these steps taken by Cisco and a bottoming out in the company’s sales cycle, we believe value investors should now begin buying the shares.” White raised his full-year EPS target to $1.61 from $1.55, and for 2012, he raised his estimate to $1.74 from $1.70.

John Marchetti, Cowen & Co.: Reiterates an Outperform rating, though he thinks the shares are likely to be merely in line with the market “near-term” because last night’s remarks from the company “do little to answer questions on growth and margins.” “investors are unlikely to view the stock as cheap until visibility on growth improves and the company can outline a path to more stable gross margins.” He raised his EPS estimate for this year to $1.60 from $1.59, and to $1.78 from $1.75 for next year.

Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co.: Reiterates a Neutral rating on the stock. “The company is a tanker ship that will require multiple quarters to fix its long-term financial model. Cisco continues to face margin pressure from smaller competitors […] such as Juniper Networks (JNPR), Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP), Riverbed Networks (RVBD), F5 Networks (FFIV), Acme Packet (APKT), Aruba Networks (ARUN), Fortinet (FTNT), Brocade (BRCD), etc.” Marshall raised his 2011 EPS estimate to $1.60 from $1.58, but cut his 2012 estimate to $1.68 to $1.71. On the plus side, Marshall notes that Cisco has “some of the most attractive secular growth opportunities in the information technology industry” in front of it, and that its “penetration” of its potential addressable market of perhaps $150 billion is just 30% based on revenue of $42 billion a year. He thinks Cisco’s “ace in the hole” are “vblocks,” data center capacity delivered as a “utility” through an “IT-as-a-service” model.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Finally, You Can Now Own The Dude’s Sweater

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Obviously, you’re not a golfer. But, there’s no question that The Big Lebowski is something of a holy text for our generation, a guide to scrubby L.A. living that covers everything from how to properly stuff a ringer (dirty undies, the whites) to how you should feel about the Eagles (they suck). Read the full story

AAPL: Ticonderoga Says FYQ3 Sales Growth Still Possible

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Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White this morning reiterates a Buy rating on Apple (AAPL) shares and a $612 price target, while writing that the company’s sales in April look to have been below the historical trend, but that quarter-on-quarter growth is still possible.

That’s not entirely surprising, he indicates, as Apple forecast the quarter to be down 7%, versus a normal historical trend for sales to be up 5%, quarter to quarter, in fiscal Q3.

The “barometer” he’s compiled of companies that supply Apple out of Taiwan shows Apple sales may have fallen by 7.5%, below an historical average for sales to rise 0.4% from March to April. But given the 35% increase in sales in March for his barometer, versus a 24% average, it’s still possible that the full quarter could rise by the historical 5%, he thinks.

Apple shares today are down 58 cents at $348.87.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily