Apple Inc. (AAPL) Reportedly Eyeing Time Warner (TWX) Acquisition

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This morning reports are coming from the New York Post that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is eyeing a potential acquisition of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) in an effort to boost the viability of their pending stand-alone streaming TV service.

A source close to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has indicated that one of Apple’s executives, Eddy Cue, has been watching Time Warner closely to see if they decide to put themselves up for sale. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could in fact acquire the company, it would likely take more than the $85 per share offer they received back in 2014; perhaps as much as $105 per share, equating to a total price of over $80 billion. Sure, Apple can afford this, but do they want to blow their cash on a media company?

The acquisition of Time Warner would make sense on many levels. It would give Apple, CNN, Time Warner Sports, HBO, Warner Bros. and more. These are all incredible properties that could help them launch a streaming TV service and perhaps attract other networks to join in. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of these rumors over the next several weeks, or if Time Warner decides not to sell and instead just spin off their HBO segment.

The stock increased 1.45% or $1.43 during the last trading session, hitting $99.96. About 59,519 shares traded hands. AAPL has declined 21.55% since June 9, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 14.07%.

From a total of 31 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 27 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 4 a “Hold”. This means that 87% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $200 while the lowest target price is $102. The mean of all analyst targets is $143.40 which is 43.46% above today’s ($99.96) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 104 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Deutsche Bank maintained shares on January 11 with a “Hold” rating. Stifel Nicolaus maintained shares with a”Buy” rating and a $140 target share price in their report from a December 23. Mizuho upgraded AAPL stock in a recent report from January 11 to a “Buy” rating. Barclays Capital maintained the rating on December 14. Barclays Capital has a “Overweight” rating and a $150 price target on shares. Finally, Canaccord Genuity maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a January 8.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.18 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.22, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 103 funds sold all their Apple Inc. shares they owned while 854 reduced their positions. 102 funds bought stakes while 1032 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 3.20 billion shares which is 1.58% less than the previous share count of 3.25 billion in 2015Q2.

Compton Capital Management Inc Ri holds 45.15% of its total portfolio in Apple Inc., equating to 113,694 shares. Raiff Partners Inc owns 100,000 shares representing 32.27% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rfg Advisory Group Llc has 25.06% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 70,558 shares. The New York-based Independent Investors Inc has a total of 23.66% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Dock Street Asset Management Inc, a Connecticut-based fund reported 269,584 shares owned.

Since March 6, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 7 selling transactions for a total of $17.48 million in net activity. Maestri Luca sold 2,908 shares worth $325,347. Williams Jeffrey E sold 46,873 shares worth $5.18 million. Riccio Daniel J. sold 24,085 shares worth $3.01M. Ahrendts Angela J sold 44,789 shares worth $5.90M. The insider Levinson Arthur D sold 70,000 shares worth $9.20 million.

Apple Inc. designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The company has a market cap of $546.30 billion. The Company’s services and products include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. It has 10.87 P/E ratio. The Firm also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store.

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