Apple Inc. (AAPL) Steps Back From iAd Busines, Hands Reins to Publishers

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While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be successful at nearly everything they do, one project which didn’t turn out like the company expected was their iAd mobile advertising platform. Launched back in 2010 by then CEO, Steve Jobs, Apple’s iAd platform didn’t attract the attention the company desired, even after an initial burst of excitement.

Today, according to sources close to the company who spoke with BuzzFeed, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pulling back the reins on iAds and turning the platform over to publishers. Apple will no longer be creating and directly selling ads, instead letting the publishers do all of that. The company also said that they will be allowing publishers to keep 100% of all sales as well.

“This has been a long time coming,” a source explained to BuzzFeed. “Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner — it should have.”

The stock decreased 2.57% or $2.57 during the last trading session, hitting $97.39. Approximately 83,987 shares traded hands. AAPL shares have declined 24.43% since June 10, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 16.95%.

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 47.24% above today’s ($97.39) 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 improved, 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 buys, and 7 insider sales 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 $554.23 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 10.59 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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