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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Alphabet and Twitter

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 9, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) and Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) and Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Apple Roundup: Valuation, Smartphones, Hate Speech, TSMC

This roundup covers Apple’s trillion-dollar valuation, its smartphone share loss to Huawei, its actions against hate speech and the impact of the virus that attacked key supplier Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC). Here are the details-

A Trillion Dollars and Counting

Tim Cook has done a great job of showing all those who ever doubted him that he was a man with a plan. When he assumed the CEO role back in 2011, Apple’s valuation was a little over $300 billion and last week, that just tripled to a trillion dollars.

Cook said all the right things, pointing to the valuation, then saying how it was "not the most important measure" of Apple’s success and certainly not what he and the company were focused on. The focus areas were, according to his memo to employees, "innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values."

Can Huawei Consolidate Its Gain On Apple?

Huawei’s founder CEO Ren Zhengfei sounded triumphant coming off a strong first half, in which the company shipped 95 million smartphones. Raising the full-year forecast from 180 million units to 200 million units in a media briefing at its Shenzhen headquarters he said, "I think it's no problem that we become the global No.2 next year; in Q4 next year, it's possible we become No.1".

Huawei announced its first phone 15 years ago and pushed Apple to the third position in the second calendar quarter of 2018, according to IDC. This is the first time since 2010 that Apple didn’t make it to the top two. Moreover, Huawei’s feat was achieved despite a virtual ban on the company’s phones in the U.S. and relatively small share in India, the second largest smartphone market. Huawei’s strength comes from its wide ranging product line that made it popular in the EMEA region, where sales grew 73% and in China where they were up 37%.

Apple Against Hate Speech

In what definitely appears to be collusion between the top technology companies, Apple joined Facebook, Spotify and Alphabet’s YouTube in taking down content related to Infowars and Alex Jones. Twitter maintains that Jones and his supporters have not violated its rules of conduct yet.

Jones, who is well known for his support of republicans, for abusing people like Obama and Hillary Clinton and also for propagating false news, was however not taken down for these reasons. The technology companies decided that hate speech was a better way to remove him, first because it’s such a vague term that it doesn’t require much explanation and covers just about anything. And second, because this way, they can keep the political angle from the argument, so diplomats don’t have a direct reason to get involved.

TSMC Virus Could Bite Apple

Taiwan Semiconductor, which makes Apple’s A11 chip and is scheduled to make its A12 chip to go into the next generation of iPhones, attributed the computer virus that impacted some of its computer systems and fab tools on Aug 3 to "misoperation" of a software installation process for a new tool. The company has said that the resultant delay in shipments would impact its third-quarter revenue by 3%, or $255 million.

There has been some speculation about how this might impact Apple. According to Fubon Research, which expects Apple to ship 83 million iPhones in the second half, the setback will delay shipment of 1.5-1.7 million A12 chips with no material impact on Apple’s new iPhone because TSMC will make good in the next quarter.

Recommendation

Apple shares carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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