Your Apple Stock Investing Guide for 2018
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) had a great 2017.
The share price rose 43.5%, and AAPL shareholders also received a dividend on top of those double-digit gains.
But that's just the start of how much profit there is to be made from Apple…
We continue to believe that Apple stock is one of the best long-term investments on the market.
That's why today, we wanted to answer all of your questions about Apple stock…
The History of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)
Apple's story is one of the best business stories you'll ever hear.
It's been discussed many times, but it encapsulates so much about the vibrant tech boom that started during the 1970s, about the startup world, and about how founders can develop and lose a company.
As nearly everyone is aware, Apple was the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
At the time, hobbyists would have to buy parts and build a computer on their own if they wanted one. The duo saw an opportunity to make a desktop that was already put together that the average consumer could use.
Then Apple hit the big time…
On Dec. 12, 1980, Apple went public and sold shares at $22 per share.
From a garage to an IPO, that would be enough to make Apple a business legend.
But the story doesn't end there…
There's the equally legendary tale of Jobs being fired by Apple's board in the middle of the 1980s and his replacement by a CEO he had brought in.
There's also Jobs' return, roughly 15 years later.
And what was happening inside the company was just as interesting as the products released…
Launched in 2001, the iPod changed the way the world consumes music. When the iPhone was launched in 2007, it changed the mobile phone industry forever.
And that brings us to Apple today…
Does Apple Pay a Dividend?
Yes, Apple pays a dividend.
Apple originally paid a dividend, but stopped that payment in 1995.
But as the company experienced robust sales and accumulated a huge amount of cash, it started to pay shareholders a dividend again in 2012.
Apple currently pays a dividend of $2.52, which is a yield of 1.42%.
Don't Worry About Slowing iPhone Sales
Many shareholders last year were worried about slowing U.S. iPhone sales.
After all, the iPhone is one of Apple's most iconic products.
But as Money Morning Director of Technology & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson noted, Apple's products are still very popular in China.
And China's consumer class is growing by leaps and bounds…
The Chinese middle class is expected to quadruple in the period from 2017 to 2021, reaching 450 million.
The end result of this growth is a large increase in disposable income in China.
That translates to great news for Apple shareholders.
Will Apple Acquire News Businesses in 2018?
Apple has a large cash hoard – more than $200 billion.
While it may use the cash for raising its already robust dividend in the future, it might also use it for strategic acquisitions.
And there's a belief that Apple could target the streaming entertainment industry….
Nielsen, which tracks TV viewing, says that U.S. television-watching is falling by more than 8% since 2012.
But time spent watching streaming services? It's climbing 111%.
Streaming and cable services might make media giant Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) attractive to Apple.
The two reportedly discussed a deal in 2015.
TWX's properties include HBO, CNN, TNT, and TBS.
Through TNT, Time Warner can offer NBA games.
However, TWX has a very large market capitalization ($73 billion). In the past, Apple has not appeared enthusiastic about buying companies with large market caps.
But Apple still has plenty of money to make a big move…
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) might be a very good fit. It's one of the most iconic American companies, and it owns ABC and ESPN.
An added bonus in a Walt Disney deal would be all of its theme parks.
A lot of people believe this merger could happen because there is a long history of managerial partnership between Apple and Disney.
Jobs sat on Disney's board of directors, and he also sold the Pixar Animation Studios to Disney in 2006.
Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, sits on the board of directors of Apple.
We think this merger is not likely, but it does come up often when Apple's potential entry into media is discussed.
Another potential acquisition target for Apple is Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). Netflix has become one of the most innovative and prolific content providers. It has a large global subscriber base of more than 117 million users.
Being acquired by Apple would give Netflix the cash needed to produce more original content.
Several other media companies may also be possibilities for Apple to join with or acquire.
Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE), for example, has an entertainment division that might look attractive to Apple. SNE has a manageable market cap ($57 billion) for an Apple acquisition.
But Sony is also a highly diversified company – perhaps too diversified for Apple's taste.
Another possibility is Hulu, a Netflix-like streaming service.
The share structures of each are complicated. This makes a deal unlikely.
2018 Apple Stock Price Projections
Over the next 12 months, most analysts are very bullish about the Apple stock price.
For example. Guggenheim Securities projects the AAPL stock price will climb to $215 per share. From the opening price of $170.16 on Jan. 2, 2018, that's a potential profit of 26.35%.
However, not every analyst is a bull…
Deutsche Bank Research believes that the AAPL stock price could fall to $152 per share.
That's a potential loss of 10.67%.
It's important to get a broad overview of what the market thinks, but we're focusing more on the Apple stock price prediction from Robinson…
Should I Buy Apple Stock in 2018?
Way back in 2013, Robinson said on FOX Business Network that Apple would hit a pre-split share price of $1,000.
And that call was as bold as it was accurate…
The stock reached Robinson's target price, on a split-adjusted basis, when the price of AAPL hit $142.85 on March 28, 2017.
And Robinson is still bullish about Apple stock even as it trades at all-time highs…
Michael is predicting that the Apple stock price will hit $250 per share in the next 30 months.