price target


Scoot over Microsoft: Apple again the most valuable US company

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple won back its crown as the most valuable publicly listed US company on Wednesday, ending the session with a market capitalization above recent leaders Microsoft and

Apple edged up 0.03%, putting its market value at $821.5 billion. Microsoft’s market capitalization ended at $813.4 billion after its stock dipped 1.11%, while Amazon’s stock market value finished the day at $805.7 billion, in third place, after its shares slid 1.12%.

Apple’s stock has risen about 13% since its quarterly earnings report on Jan 29, with investors betting it was oversold following months of concern about a slowdown in iPhone demand and the company’s rare revenue warning on Jan 2 related to soft demand in China.

But slowing iPhone sales have led to lower expectations for Apple’s stock. The average analyst price target for Apple has fallen from $240 three months ago to $175, less than a dollar more than its current stock price of $174.24.

After touching a record $1.1 trillion last October, Apple’s market capitalization fell gradually, and it was overtaken in December by Amazon and Microsoft, which have taken turns in the top position since then.

Apple’s stock market value hit a low of $675 billion on Jan 3 after its revenue warning, but then steadily recovered, helped in part by a quarterly report that was better than feared by investors.

While Apple has gained in recent sessions, Microsoft and Amazon’s shares fell after their quarterly reports. Amazon has declined almost 5% since Thursday, when it forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates and said it would step up investments in 2019.

“That has raised some eyebrows, it’s a perception that Amazon may be settling into a more mature phase in terms of growth,” said Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.

Morgan owns shares in Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, but he said that if forced to choose, he would favor Amazon because of its lead in cloud-computing market share.

Microsoft’s stock is about flat from last Wednesday, when the software maker met targets for its quarterly results and forecast. – REUTERS

OCBC: Malaysia could restore fiscal health in 3 years

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has a reasonable chance of restoring its fiscal health within three years if the economic growth remains stable with new revenue streams and stable expenditure, according to OCBC Bank chief economist Selena Ling (pix).

“But if you have a case where the global environment is very serious and dire and there is no deal between US and China… then it becomes a very hostile environment for any developing country to operate in,” she told reporters at a press conference last Friday.

She noted that if the global economy remains at a status quo for the rest of the year and crude oil prices stabilise, Malaysia may miss the fiscal deficit target by 0.1-0.2 percentage points.

Having said that, the potential slippage is not expected to be “very severe” that will derail Malaysia off its targets.

“Rating agencies also want to see a multi-year plan. If it’s just a slippage of one year that you can attribute to a lot of external factors, probably the rating agencies will give you a pass. It’s really not a one year story they’re looking for,” she explained.

The government has projected fiscal deficit to ease to 3.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year from 3.7% in 2018. It looks to further narrow the fiscal deficit to 3% and 2.8% in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Ling projects Malaysia to record a full-year GDP growth of 4.4% for 2019 amid slowing global growth and the ongoing external headwinds.

Malaysia’s ringgit, on the other hand, could appreciate to RM4 against the greenback in the event of a weak dollar.

She said the strengthening of the ringgit will have less to do with domestic factors as the slowdown in economic growth is seen as benign, coupled with an unlikely change in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR).

Another reason that could be supportive of strong ringgit is the risk of the US economy falling into a recession next year.

Meanwhile, Ling expects oil prices to be subdued and could result in a shortfall in government coffers if they remain at the current level of around US$50 per barrel until year-end.

Although Budget 2019 is based on the oil price assumption of US$70 per barrel, she does not see a need to recalibrate the budget at this juncture, but it will exert pressure on seeking new revenue sources.

“As far as the budget revision is concerned, I suspect (it will) not be so soon because the US$70 is a medium-term price target and oil prices have been volatile in the last six months.

“But if you look at the average price, it is relatively stable and maybe for the next budget in October 2019, they (the government) may revise the oil price assumption,” she added.

OCBC Bank expects 2019 to remain challenging for M’sia

KUALA LUMPUR: The OCBC Bank expects 2019 to remain a challenging year for Malaysia and estimated a moderate growth of 4.4 per cent amid slowing global growth and ongoing government fiscal consolidation. Chief economist Selena Ling said Malaysia and other open Asean economies, such as Thailand and Singapore, would be more vulnerable on the trade […]

Cautiously optimistic on IJM Plantation prospects — Kenanga

KUCHING: After coming away from a recent IJM Plantations Bhd (IJMP) briefing, analysts are cautiously optimistic on the plantation player’s prospects. In a company update report, Kenanga Research revealed that it is expecting IJMP’s production of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) to be on track to surpass the one million mark in financial year 2020 (FY20). […]

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