Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is on the verge of being the first $1 trillion market capitalization company, which is stunning when you consider that 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 Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) right behind Apple, it is 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 held 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, constantly looks to expand its business and product and service lines.
1. Apple is reportedly planning to sell video subscriptions directly to consumers through the Apple TV app, according to Bloomberg. Currently, Apple TV users must pay for content or subscribe to other video services through third-party apps, forcing subscribers to jump back and forth between apps. Under the new service, users will be able to subscribe and pay for third-party content directly through the Apple TV app.
2. Apple will invest C$13 million (roughly US$10 million) in a new joint venture with Alcoa and Rio Tinto. The partnership is focused on developing a new, more environmentally friendly aluminum-making process. The technology is expected to be marketable by 2024 and will reflect a C$188 million (US$147 million) investment by the companies, the Canadian government and the Quebec government.
3. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Apple are reportedly discussing an Apple Pay branded credit card to launch in 2019, according to the New York Times. Discussions have been ongoing for months and would represent a new foray into the consumer credit card market for Goldman Sachs. Apple partnered with Barclay’s in November 2014 to launch a card that earns points toward the purchase of new Apple products or Apple gift cards. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs credit card would replace Apple’s current card with Barclay’s.
4. Apple was among a group of 10 companies to receive permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation to use drones, according to Reuters. As part of the government’s efforts to evaluate drone safety and regulation, the department will allow a select group of companies to fly drones over people at night, operations that are currently prohibited in the United States. Apple is expected to use drones to take aerial photos to improve Apple Maps.
5. Apple has canceled plans to build a data center in Athenry, Ireland, due to a three-year delay in the approval process, according to Reuters. As a result, the company reportedly plans to expand its European headquarters, which are currently located in County Cork, where it employs over 6,000 people.
So another busy week for what, at least for the time being, is the world’s biggest company by market capitalization. Scribner’s team digs every week to make sure investors have the most up-to-date information on the tech behemoth.