Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) became the first U.S. $1 trillion market capitalization company when the shares hit $207.05 on August 2, which is stunning when you consider at the turn of the century the stock was trading at $1.25 and some thought the company would head into bankruptcy. With Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) right behind Apple, it’s almost a given that we will have two $1 trillion market capitalization companies trading on the Nasdaq before the end of 2018.
One of the very best analysts on Wall Street who covers Apple is Sherri Scribner from Deutsche Bank, who almost always seems to have a little more insight into the company than her peers. In fact, she does a weekly piece for the firm called “Scribner’s Slice of Apple.” Despite her incredible depth of knowledge, she has a Hold rating on the shares of the tech giant with a $165 price target, which is quite a bit lower than the current trading levels.
Given that Apple is a widely held company, either directly or through mutual funds and exchange traded funds, we thought this week’s data dump on the company was extremely interesting as Apple, like most of the mega-cap tech giants, looks to constantly expand its business, product and service lines.
1) Apple chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) had to shut down some of its factories last weekend due to a computer virus. The virus was believed to be a variation of the WannaCry ransomware that was responsible for a widespread global attack on Windows computers in May 2017.
2) Apple continues to risk being kicked off mobile networks in India as it refuses to comply with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) requirement to add an anti-spam app to the App store. Apple contends that the app violates its policies as it allows third parties to track users.
3) In response to a letter from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee over invading users’ privacy, Apple responded that its iPhones do not listen to users without their consent, and the company does not allow third-party apps to access user conversations without explicit approval.
4) Apple has reportedly rehired Doug Field, who most recently worked at Tesla in the development of new Tesla vehicles. Mr. Field previously worked at Apple as VP of Mac hardware engineering, and left the company in 2013 to join Tesla.
5) Apple has reportedly joined the Board of Directors of Thread Group as a sponsor. The group supports the smart home mesh networking solution, Thread, which is an alternative to connecting smart home devices through WiFi and allows different devices to speak directly to each other, rather than through a router, helping extend the range and usability of smart devices.
6) iOS Health Records now supports 77 different health institutions, which is up from 12 earlier this year. By allowing consumers to access their health records on their iPhones, Apple is hoping to make it quicker and cheaper for consumers to access their critical personal health data.
7) Starting August 16, both new and existing Verizon unlimited customers will be entitled to receive a free six-month subscription to Apple Music. Following the free subscription period, the service will be priced at the standard $9.99 per month rate.
So another busy week for what, at least for the time being, is the world’s biggest company by market cap. Scribner’s team digs every week to make sure investors have the most up-to-date information on the tech behemoth. With the Apple nation always looking for the newest and most timely information on the company, Deutsche Bank consistently delivers.