Apple Stock Nears Quarterly High as Investors Prepare for Q3 Earnings Report

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Apple stock enjoyed its biggest one-day rise since May on Thursday, following a brief dip as investors speculated on the company's prospects in the run-up to its Q3 earnings call and the release of the iPhone 7 later this year.

Shares closed at $98.78, almost hitting their previous high since Apple reported its fiscal Q2 earnings, when the company's stock fell below $100. Shares remain down 26% from its own record high close of $133 set on February 23, 2015.

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The rise followed Wednesday's blip after consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel released data showing that Samsung is outselling Apple in U.S. smartphone sales.

In the three months ending in May, Samsung accounted for 37% of all U.S. smartphone purchases, with Apple at 29%. However, a closer look at the figures showed Samsung's Galaxy S7 series accounted for 16% of sales in the same period, while the iPhone 6S series accounted for 14.6%, suggesting a much closer battle when it comes to flagship devices.

Outside the U.S., Kantar data revealed that Apple's iPhone 6s and 5s were the top two best-selling phones in the U.K., followed by the Samsung Galaxy J5 and the iPhone SE.

In Q2 2016, Apple saw its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003 along with its first ever drop in iPhone sales, and that downward trend is expected to continue into the third quarter of the year.

The company's earnings announcement for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2016 will take place on Tuesday, July 26.

Last week, industry research revealed that Mac sales experienced a slight year-over-year decline in the second quarter, dropping to 4.4 million from 4.8 million during the year-ago period. Apple fell behind ASUS to finish as the fifth-largest PC vendor by shipments worldwide.

Apple has not updated the MacBook Pro in over 400 days, with a refresh for its entire MacBook Pro line-up expected in the fourth quarter. The company is expected to unveil its new iPhones in the fall.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

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55 months ago
Has Apple ever let their entire product line stagnate so badly?

MacBook - Just updated 87 days ago.

iMac - Updated 276 days ago. Normally goes 317 days between updates, so not bad or unusual.

15" MBP: Last updated 483 days ago, while 13" was updated 423 days ago. Hasn't gone more than 294 days between updates since 2012 (the first Retina). Going back to the first Intel MBP, Apple hasn't ever gone more than 317 days between updates before. So this is the longest it's ever gone between updates so far, by a factor of over 1.5x.

MacBook Air - 494 days. It's 5 days away from being the longest the MacBook Air has ever been left without an update. It's over the average by 1.5x.

MacMini - 638 days. The average is 438 days between releases, but it's still 90 days shy of the longest ever.

Mac Pro - 939 days. Everyone complained when it went 500-600 days between updates. It's now over its average of 450 days by over 2x, and over the previous maximum by nearly 1.5x.

I have a 2007 iMac. It's 9 years old and I don't feel compelled to replace it at all. It runs El Capitan just fine. I'm surprised Sierra is dropping support for it, but I still don't feel like replacing the iMac, because Apple really just hasn't made any compelling upgrades to their Mac line or OS X in forever.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

I'm not big on conspiracies, but something just isn't adding up. This revolutionary company that we love so much, I highly doubt that any of these are a coincidence: the entire Mac line up not being updated in years with terrible specs, and if so (like the MacBook) they are extremely minor, hence Mac sales have been very low. iOS & macOS being extremely anti-climatic and the 6S and upcoming 7 being extremely lacklustre updates, hence sales have been sloping down for the first time in its history. And don't even mention the watch that hasn't even been updated yet... It's as if they want to suck on purpose.

No ruthless, cut throat visionary; no good Apple.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago
I'm not big on conspiracies, but something just isn't adding up. This revolutionary company that we love so much, I highly doubt that any of these are a coincidence: the entire Mac line up not being updated in years with terrible specs, and if so (like the MacBook) they are extremely minor, hence Mac sales have been very low. iOS & macOS being extremely anti-climatic and the 6S and upcoming 7 being extremely lacklustre updates, hence sales have been sloping down for the first time in its history. And don't even mention the watch that hasn't even been updated yet... It's as if they want to suck on purpose.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

I'm not big on conspiracies, but something just isn't adding up. This revolutionary company that we love so much, I highly doubt that any of these are a coincidence: the entire Mac line up not being updated in years with terrible specs, and if so (like the MacBook) they are extremely minor, hence Mac sales have been very low. iOS & macOS being extremely anti-climatic and the 6S and upcoming 7 being extremely lacklustre updates, hence sales have been sloping down for the first time in its history. And don't even mention the watch that hasn't even been updated yet... It's as if they want to suck on purpose.

As long as Apple continues to buy back shares, nothing should be done to juice the share price. Let it stay low so Apple can get more bang for the buck and so will shareholders. There's nothing Apple can do to make the company more of an attractive investment than Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft or a host of other tech companies, so shareholders might as well give up. Shareholders will simply have to suck it up. I'm still getting paid my dividends and the faster the share count drops, the better it is for me in the long run. Tim Cook is a loser. He's nothing when compared to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. He's even behind Reed Hastings and Satya Nadella. I'm sure everyone knows this much. He's always got his nose into some business outside of Apple. I guess that's his thing. Apple will remain undervalued compared to other stocks as it's become a really boring company lead by an extremely boring CEO. As a shareholder, I've seen the good times and now I'm seeing the not so good times. Steve Jobs is gone and that's that. There's nothing to look forward to. A wealthy company getting its ass kicked by companies far poorer is one of the things that happens to companies set on merely protecting what they have and nothing more.

With all the money they have, Apple should be able to build the most powerful Pro computer on the planet but they don't seem interested in doing so for reasons I'm not exactly certain. The current Mac Pro is merely paying lip service to Jony Ive as a designer and very little attention to end users. All those powerful graphic cards are being created and Apple doesn't give a damn because they'd rather build underpowered green computers instead of beast machines. I'd heard that even the high-end processor iMacs have to throttle back because lack of proper cooling doesn't allow them to run flat-out as intended in Turbo-boost mode. Apple has to build these super-thin computers in order to make them look good at the expense of functionality. I get it. Apple doesn't want iMacs to be used as gaming machines so they handicap them. I guess Apple is being run by committee and the bean counters are in charge. There's nothing can be done about that and I'm not sure even a new CEO would help.

I still like the company but I don't understand what their goals are. They never say. Investors don't give a damn about green policies or gender policies even if they're important. I sure wish Apple had some space program just to make things a little interesting to dream about. All Apple seems to be interested in is selling iPhones and they're not even accomplishing that to a great degree. Apple's product mix isn't that high in number so why are they having such a hard time focusing on the few things they have.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

You may have a point. These people are too smart to forget what got them where they are.

They can't see the forest through the trees, (or whatever that phrase is.) Companies getting caught up in their own success isn't something new. They've become so big, so fast that they've become glacially slow at innovating and it takes far too long for systemic issues to be recognized and fixed by those in power. I should know... I'm not in the same industry as Apple, but I do work for a company that became large very fast, hasn't managed itself effectively, and because of it have gone from record profits to hemorhaging cash.

As for the stock price, who knows? Could go up, could go down. The market's driven by gamblers who buy on gut feelings and momentum rather than the company's financial health and whether its stock is over/undervalued.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago
Don't worry shareholders...they'll release some watch bands the day before to boost the stock price. The market just loves watch bands. Then when the numbers are not as good as they should have been Tim will go on Cramer and tell the world about the great and exciting stuff in the pipeline. Come to think of it...maybe they should call a plumber. The pipeline seems to be clogged...nothing is coming out of it and hasn't for years.

In all seriousness I wonder if there is some crazy way for them to bring the money from over seas and call it revenue. Fill in the gaps when they aren't selling things. I bet there is some crazy way to do it. It seems like they shouldn't be doing as well as they are. But then again, millennials would rather buy an Apple Watch and a Hermes band instead of a house or car...so who knows.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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