Apple Inc. to Report Earnings
After the market closes on Monday, Apple Inc. (AAPL, +0.47%) is expected to report 2nd-quarter earnings. Currently, sell-side analysts are bullish about the technology giant especially with top sales of the iPhone 6 Plus models as well as the recently launched Apple Watch. According to analysts polled by FactSet, Apple’s average stock rating is overweight and they also average a twelve month price target of $140.18. If these analysts are on the money, this means that we will see Apple’s current market capitalization of $749 billion rise to $816 billion. In terms of GAAP earnings per share (EPS), Apple is expected to report $2.14 per share while non GAAP EPS or adjusted earnings are expected to come in at $2.19. This translates into a 24 percent increase year-over-year. In the period a year earlier, Apple reported EPS of $1.77. Estimize forecasts Apple’s earnings to be at $2.26 a share. Added to this, Apple is also expected to report a 22.1 percent increase in revenue from $45.5 billion in the same period a year ago to $55.75 billion in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Estimize forecasts Apple’s revenue at $57.18 billion. Interestingly, both these estimates are above the internal estimates provided by Apple which forecasted revenue at between $52 billion and $55 billion. Over the last year, Apple shares have increased by 73 percent and on Thursday, their shares were trading at $129.47 a share, up 0.7 percent.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended the week on a high with solid gains. This came as a result of better than expected earnings which pushed the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) and the S&P 500 index (SPX) to close at record highs. Last week saw the Nasdaq gain for 5 consecutive sessions to end the week up 3.3 percent. This marked the biggest weekly gain for the index since October last year. On Friday, the Nasdaq rose 0.7%, or 36.02 points, to 5,092.08. Meanwhile, the SPX also ended Friday up 0.2%, or 4.77 points, at 2,117.70. This pushed the index past its record close reached on the 2nd of March with a gain of 1.8 percent over the week. Following the upward trend was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which gained 1.4 percent over the week. The blue chip index also advanced 0.1 percent, or 21.45 points, to close at 18,080.14 on Friday. Also, the CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was at a new three month low at 12.30, down 1.44%.
On Friday, the U.S. dollar (USD) held steady against other major currencies. This came after a positive report on U.S. durable goods supported the greenback while uncertainty among investors regarding interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, limited gains. In economic data released on Friday, it was shown that the durable goods orders in the U.S. rose in March by 4.0 percent after a decline of 1.4 percent in February. This beat expectations for a gain of only 0.6%. Also, core durable goods orders declined by 0.2 percent in March. This missed expectations for a rise of 0.3 percent. The EUR/USD traded at 1.0832, up 0.08% while the GBP/USD traded at 1.5138, up 0.55%. Also, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen traded mixed against the USD with USD/CHF steady at 0.9548 and with USD/JPY down 0.40% and trading at 119.11. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 97.34, down 0.10%.
On Friday, crude oil prices diverged with Brent crude oil reaching an all-time high after almost 5 months. This increase came in response to the continued tensions in Yemen while U.S. crude oil prices took a knock as a result of increased stockpiles in the U.S. With ongoing fighting in Yemen between Houthi militia forces and a Saudi-led coalition, investors are concerned regarding the security of oil supplies from the Middle East. Added to this, a softer U.S. dollar (USD) limited losses on U.S. crude prices while also lending support to Brent oil. On Friday, U.S. crude oil traded at $57.15 a barrel, down 59 cents. This was down from Thursday's high of $58.41. Despite this decline, U.S. crude oil gained 2.5% on the week and has now risen for 6 straight weeks. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil traded at $65.28 a barrel, up 43 cents, on Friday. This marked a weekly gain of 3% as well as the 3rd straight week of gains.