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  1. Phil

    What the Hell was that?  

    Seriously, up to $430 and now back to $406?  Oh well, as long as they're buying their own stock at this price I'm thrilled.  Conference call killed it – no promise of new product but, on the other hand, if that was the guidance WITH new products, THEN I'd be concerned.  The guidance they gave with no new products is fine with me.  

    Apple (AAPL): FQ2 EPS of $10.09 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $43.6B (+11% Y/Y) beats by $1.1B. 37.4M iPhones, 19.5M iPads, just under 4M Macs. Expects FQ3 revenue of $33.5B-$35.5B, below $39.3B consensus. Buyback increased by $50B. Shares halted. CC at 5PM ET (webcast). (PR)

    More on Apple: Quarterly dividend increased by 15% to $3.05/share (3% yield); Apple "plans to borrow" to return cash. FQ2 iPhone and iPad sales beat expectations, Macs a little light. Gross margin was 37.5%, at low end of guidance range of 37.5%-38.5% and -990 bps Y/Y. Apple expects to return $100 in cash via capital return program by end of 2015, up from prior $45B. Exc. retail, Americas revenue +7% Y/Y, Europe +11%, Greater China +8%, Japan +19%, rest of Asia-Pac +26%, Retail +19%. iPhone revenue only +3% Y/Y, iPad +40%, Mac +7%, iPod -20% on 5.6M units. AAPL halted, to resume trading at 4:50PM. (PR)

    A little more on Apple: Implied FQ2 iPhone ASP of $613, down from FQ1's $641 (was emerging markets discounting or a mix shift to older iPhones the culprit?). iPad ASP was $449, down from FQ1's $467 (shift to iPad Mini). Mac ASP of $1,378, up from FQ1's $1,359. iTunes/Software/Services revenue +30% Y/Y to $4.11B. Accessories +15% to $1.38B. R&D spend +33% Y/Y to $1.12B, SG&A +14% to $2.67B. Cash balance stood at $145B at quarter's end, up from prior $137B. 

    Tim Cook (AAPL) on the five-inch smartphone: "Our competitors have made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist." He adds that if IDC's right, the tablet market declined 30% since December, so Apple's decline of 15% beat the market. 

    David Einhorn likes Apple's (AAPL) feisty share buyback : "We applaud Apple's decision to borrow money and return excess capital to shareholders, an idea that was off the table only months ago. This positive development represents a more shareholder friendly capital allocation policy and demonstrates the conviction of Apple's management and board in the Company's future."

    More from Apple's (AAPL) FQ2 call: Mix shift towards iPhone 4 responsible for iPhone ASP drop; iPhone channel inventory up 1M Q/Q. Greater China sell-thru growth was 18% Y/Y, above reported (sell-in) 8%. Revenue mix shift towards iPad hurt gross margin, expected to fall to 36%-37% in FQ3 due to lower revenue and mix, partly offset by lower costs. Tim Cook talks of "exciting new product categories" (an iWatch?). While Cook said competitors made tradeoffs to offer ~5" phones, he didn't mention one-handed use (Apple's traditional critique) – is he hinting one will eventually arrive? AAPL -0.3% AH, as investors focus on FQ3 guidance (implies rev. growth of -4% to +2% Y/Y). CRUS -1.9%. (transcript) (previous)

    Here's the transcript.

     

    CC highlights:

    • Revenue for the quarter was $43.6 billion compared to $39.2 billion in the year ago quarter, an increase of $4.4 billion or 11% and $600 million over the high end of our guidance range.
    • Our revenue for the first half was over $98 billion and our net income was over $22 billion. During that time we sold 85 million iPhones and 42 million iPads. These are very, very large numbers unimaginable given to us just a few years ago.
    • Our revenues grew about $13 billion in the first half of the fiscal year. Event though that’s like adding the total first half revenue of Fortune 500 companies, our average weekly growth slowed to 19% and our first closure levels of a few years ago. Our 2012 results were incredibly strong and that’s making comparisons very difficult this year. Last year our business benefited from both high growth and demand per products and a corresponding growth in channel inventories along with the virtual mix of higher gross margin products and more favorable foreign currency environment and historically low cost.
    • Take the smartphone market for example IDC estimates that this market will double between 2012 and 2016 to an incredible 1.4 billion units annually and gardening into the tablet market is growing at an even faster rate from a 125 million units in 2012 to a projected 375 million by 2016.
    • An aggressive plan that more than doubles the size of the capital return program we announced last year to a total $100 billion by the end of calendar year 2015.  In addition, the share repurchases we are increasing our current dividend by 15% to further appeal to investor seeking yield.  
    • Based on research published earlier this month by comScore, iPhones garnered the number one spot in the U.S. smartphone market for the three-month period ended in February with 39% share, up from 35% in the previous (inaudible) period. In Japan, IDC, Japan announced that iPhone gained the number one position for all of calendar year 2012 as well as for calendar Q4 2012 in both handsets and smartphones. It’s also for the first time, a non Japanese company has achieved the number one spot for an entire year.
    • Turning to iPad we were thrilled to 19.5 million iPad during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million in the year ago quarter that’s an increase of 7.7 million units or 65%.  The most recent (inaudible) indicated a 96% satisfaction rate among iPad customers. 
    • First let me start with the tablet side, the numbers that we’ve seen from IDC would indicate that they believe the market in March declined by 30% from December, December being obviously seasonally high quarter with a holiday. As you can see from our numbers, we declined 15% and so if that holds, we did much better than the market and had a very nice pick up in market share.
    •  I think the reason that we were down last quarter, (inaudible) as Peter mentioned, the market for PCs are incredibly weak. I did see – said that the market for the March quarter was down 14% year-on-year which is the largest decline that I remember from being in this industry for long time. At the same time we sold almost 20 million iPads and it’s certainly true that some of those iPads cannibalize some Macs. 
    • Cumulative app downloads have surpassed 45 billion and app developers have made over $9 billion for their sale through the App Store, including $4.5 billion in the most recent four quarters alone. 
    • I’d now like to turn to the Apple retail stores. Revenue for the quarter was $5.2 billion compared to $4.4 billion in the year ago quarter, (inaudible) 19%. This was primarily by strong sales at iPhone and iPad. We ended the quarter with the total 402 stores including a 151 outside the United States. We expect to open about 30 new stores in total in fiscal 2013 and at least 20 stores in August. With an average of 401 open in the March quarter, average revenue per store was $13.1 million compared to $12.2 million in the year ago quarter. The segment income was $1.1 billion.  We had $91 million visitors to our stores during the quarter compared to $85 million in the year ago quarter.
    • And turning to our cash, we ended the quarter with $144.7 billion in cash for short-term and long-term marketable securities. From $137.1 billion at the end of the December a sequential increase of $7.6 billion overall $2 billion (??) of our total cash was off shore at the end of the March quarter
    • And cash flow from operations was $12.5 billion. We paid $2.5 billion of dividend in the March quarter and earlier this month we concluded $1.95 billion dollar accelerated share repurchase program that we initiated in the December quarter. Resulting in the retirement of over 4 million shares of Apple stock.

    Certainly not a stock we're upset to own long-term but I think we'll have a lot of opportunities to sell calls while we wait for things to pick up into 2014.  



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Zero Hedge

SNB Spent $68 Billion On Currency Manipulation In 2016

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with China for manipulating its currency, he appears to have recently figured out that over the past 2 years Beijing has been spending hundreds of billions in dollar to strengthen, not weaken, the Yuan and to halt the ~$1 trillion in capital flight from China. But while everyone knows that the biggest currency manipulation in the world, and perhaps the Milky Way galaxy is Japan, which now owns 40% of all JGBs in its ongoing attempt to pressure the Yen lower and explains why Abe was trembling when he met with Trump, terrified the US president would tell him to stop, one...



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Why Things Aren't What They Used To Be In Emerging Markets

By Franklin Templeton Investments. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The prospect of stabilizing commodity prices and improving corporate earnings has helped rebuild investor interest in emerging markets over the past year. But returning investors may find the constituents of today’s emerging markets are very different from those of the past. I’ve invited my colleague Carlos Hardenberg to share some of his experiences of how emerging markets are not just emerging but evolving, too.

Carlos Hardenberg

Senior Vice President and Managing Director

Templeton Emerging Markets Group

When we look at the emerging-market companies in which we invest today, they are worlds away from the companies we were analysing a decade or two ago.

The landscape of emerging-market corporations in ...



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QOTD: The WSJ Unloads on "Fake President"

 

QOTD: The WSJ Unloads on “Fake President”

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If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

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From 2001 to 2011, would you have rather owned the S&P 500 or Gold Miners (Gold Bugs Index/HUI)? If you answered the Gold Bugs index, you would be correct. The left chart below compares the performance of the Gold Bugs Index and the S&P 500. From 2001 to 2011, the Gold Bugs index out performed the S&P 500 by 1,400% (left chart below).

Since 2011, miners have been weaker than the S&P 500 by a large percent. Could the stage be for another period where the mining stocks are going to be stronger than the broad markets again?

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News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

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U.K. retail sales rose more strongly than expected in February but the outlook for the British consumer remains weak.

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Yesterday's selling didn't follow through with additional losses, instead, indices dug in at lows and managed to recover some of yesterday's selloff.  The best recovery came from the Semiconductor Index. It gained over 1% as it bounced off its 20-day MA. However, it wasn't enough to stop a 'sell' trigger in the MACD and CCI.


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Check out some new posts from our friend The Nattering Naybob. 

The Big Lebowski Sequel?

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Swing trading portfolio - week of March 20th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

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Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

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