Could Apple Give Your Portfolio a Jolt?

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With shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) trading around $96, is AAPL an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, third-party digital content, and applications. The company’s products and services feature the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and further accessory, service, and support offerings. Apple also delivers digital content and applications through its iTunes, App, iBook, and Mac App stores.

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to be released in two larger screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, the debut of the so-called “iPhone 6” is gearing up to be one of the biggest and most highly anticipated iPhone launches in the company’s history. However, a new research note issued by a well-connected analyst is throwing some doubt on the widely predicted September launch date. Less than a week after pushing his estimated date for the mass production of Apple’s iWatch into November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now also revising his expected launch date for the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6. According to the analyst, yield issues with some the larger iPhone’s key components could push the launch of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 past October and even into next year.

“We think the 5.5-inch model will also have issues with the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and color unevenness of metal casing. Indeed, these problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size,” wrote Kuo in a note to investors obtained by 9to5Mac. “In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term. We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units.” According to Kuo, similar problems are causing “production bottlenecks” with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 as well, reports MacRumors.

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