Thursday, April 30, 2015

4 Reasons to Like Apple Stock Right Now

Apple stock is on the rise, and for good reason

Earlier this week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported its second-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street estimates thanks to better-than-expected sales figures for the iPhone, particularly in China.

While Apple stock faltered a couple percentage points after the report, at least a couple Wall Street firms have upgraded their ratings and price targets on Apple stock.

Among such firms are Morgan Stanley, which has given AAPL a price target of $166, and Goldman Sachs, which maintained its “buy” rating but increased its Apple stock price target to $163 from $145.

Aside from being one of most (if not the most) influential and innovative technology companies of the past decade, AAPL continues to expand its global presence where others that have come before simply failed. Regardless of whether you’re an iPhone owner or not, Apple’s position as the world’s leading tech innovator can’t be denied.

If you don’t already have Apple stock in your portfolio, there are a number of reasons to consider taking up a position:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Amazon Cloud – The Profitable Part of AMZN

AWS is the only real profitable part propping up AMZN stock

On Thursday,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported earnings for the first quarter of 2015. The Seattle-based tech giant beat analyst estimates, posting first-quarter revenue of $22.72 billion, a 15% year-over-year gain.

However, more impressive than the earnings beat were the numbers for Amazon Web Services, which — for the first time ever — were broken down in detail.

Prior to the Q1 earnings call, AMZN provided only vague details about the Amazon Web Services cloud computing business, lumping figures together in the generic “Other” category. In January, however, management announced that specific AWS results will be provided beginning with the 2015 Q1 earnings release.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Is Facebook Spending Too Much?

Q1 expenses increased almost twice as much as revenue

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been on a good run for the past two years (FB stock is up 215% since April 2013), following relatively weak performance after the social media giant’s disappointing IPO in 2012.

Consumers and analysts alike have come to expect great things from Facebook, and their expectations have always been met — until now.

Facebook reported its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and, for the first time since the beginning of 2013, FB failed to meet Wall Street expectations.

Revenue was up an impressive 42% year-over-year, and the total number of monthly active users jumped 13% to 1.44 billion. However, net income was down 20% to $512 million, and expenses spiked 83% from the same quarter last year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Expectations Are High for FB Stock; Will Earnings Deliver?

Despite increased spending, FB stock is a solid investment

Analysts are expecting strong numbers from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) when the mammoth social media company reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes Wednesday.

And those expectations appear to be supported by a number of factors that indicate a strong quarter for FB stock.

Analysts are expecting earnings of 40 cents per share for FB stock, an increase of 17.6% from 34 cents earned a year ago. Revenue is expected to be $3.6 billion, an increase of 42.4% from $2.5 billion a year ago.

The FB stock price has an average target of $91.70 per share, which equates to a gain of 10.9% from the current price of $82.70.

Friday, April 17, 2015

5 Things Netflix Must Do to Stave Off the Competition (NFLX)

Competition is heating up, but Netflix isn't ready to cede its throne

Gambone Articles Netflix NFLX stock
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), the undisputed leader in streaming television, released its 2015 first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 15.

Management reported an additional 4.8 million new subscribers during the quarter, including 2.28 million in the U.S., which exceeded analyst forecasts by 21%. The Netflix earnings report also included $1.57 billion in earnings revenue and EPS of 38 cents per share.

Netflix stock spiked almost 15% after the opening bell on Thursday, as investor confidence peaked and brought NFLX shares to a new all-time high. The stock currently trades above $570, but FBR recently upgraded Netflix stock with an astonishing price target of $900 per share.

FBR cited a recent survey wherein 49% of NFLX subscribers admitted to spending more time watching Netflix than ordinary cable television and 57% of survey respondents said that they would choose Netflix over cable if they were forced to pick only one.

Since the beginning of 2013, Netflix stock is up almost 540%. But, how can the company keep profits rolling in and stave off the competition? Following are five things NFLX must do to remain the undisputed king of streaming television.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Seagate Earnings Preview: Look for STX Landslide to End

It's been a difficult few months for Seagate and its shareholders

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) hopes to begin turning around its 2015 fortunes when it reports its fiscal Q3 earnings on Friday. A powerhouse in the digital storage arena, STX has seen its stock fall nearly 15% since Jan. 1.

Seagate manufactures hard drives and solid state drives for both personal and enterprise applications. The majority of revenue for STX stems from sales of computer and laptop hard drives, as Seagate is the second-largest manufacturer in the U.S., trailing only Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC).

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Zynga Inc: Returned CEO Mark Pincus Won’t Help ZNGA Stock

The return of Zynga's co-founder and former CEO Mark Pincus can't help ZNGA stock

Gambone Articles Zynga ZNGA stock
An abrupt end to Don Mattrick’s tenure as CEO of social gaming company Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was announced earlier this week. After nearly two years in office, Mattrick has stepped down with plans to pursue other challenges in Canada. Taking his place will be co-founder and former Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus.

The real question here is, what actually happened to cause Mattrick to walk away?

Until the news of his departure broke, ZNGA management had made no mention of any plans to replace the CEO, nor had Mattrick revealed an intent to step down.

Originally, Mattrick was brought in because management was confident he could reshape the company — which, at the time was almost entirely dependent on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for customers and revenue — into a mobile-centric gaming powerhouse. At that point, Mattrick’s experience as head of the Xbox division at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) seemed like a good fit for ZNGA.

Now, not even two years later, Mattrick has jumped ship, and Pincus — who originally stayed on as Zynga’s product chief, but left that role a year ago — has returned to the head of the table. Unfortunately for Pincus (and for ZNGA stock holders), the state of affairs is bleaker than when Pincus first stepped down.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Apple Streaming Music Service: It’s a Solution, Not a Problem

The parties lining up to battle Apple are simply acting with their wallets in mind ... and several are fighting the wrong battle

Recent news has been packed with reports and endless discussion of the European Union’s investigation into possible violations of antitrust regulations by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Last week, Reuters reported that the European Union had initiated an investigation to determine whether AAPL engaged in illegal behavior with respect to the formation of its streaming music platform.

Apparently, the EU’s Competition Commission is concerned that the tech giant may use its global influence to“unfairly squash no-fee streaming services.” To that end, regulators have sent questionnaires to record labels. Reportedly, the surveys focus on contract negotiations and agreements with AAPL.

It’s interesting that the Apple streaming music service has caused such an uproar, considering it isn’t expected to go live until at least the summer.

The question is: Is Apple really acting illegally, or is it doing what it has done in just about every other market it has tackled — innovating, revolutionizing and disrupting?