Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) makes a number of apps for Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iOS. Some of them, including Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search, are among the most commonly downloaded.
For the most part, outside of maps, these apps do not compete directly with Apple’s own — from a strategic standpoint, Apple shouldn’t particularly care if its users are flocking to Google’s apps.
That is, until now. Google is preparing to release Google Music for iOS later this month and, when it arrives, it could weaken Apple’s ecosystem. Also, Pandora (NYSE: P ) should also take note of this change.
Apple’s ecosystem locks consumers in
Apple doesn’t make much money off iTunes. For years, Apple aimed to run its digital store near “breakeven.” More recently, Apple is starting to turn a profit, but in the context of Apple’s larger business, it’s still relatively modest.
That isn’t to say that iTunes isn’t important for Apple — it’s crucial. The quality of Apple’s products attracts consumers; but, once they buy in, they’re more or less stuck. A consumer who has invested hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars into iTunes is likely an Apple customer for life.
Hot Diversified Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Atlantic Power Corp (AT)
Atlantic Power Corporation (Atlantic Power) owns and operates a fleet of power generation and infrastructure assets in the United States and Canada. The Company’s power generation projects sell electricity to utilities and industrial customers under long-term power purchase agreements. During the year ended December 31, 2011, its power generation projects in operation had an aggregate gross electric generation capacity of approximately 3,397 megawatts in which its ownership interest was approximately 2,140 megawatts. The Company operates in five segments: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest and Un-allocated Corporate. As of December 31, 2011, its portfolio consisted of interests in 31 operational power generation projects across 11 states in the United States and two provinces in Canada, and a 53 megawatts biomass project under construction in Georgia and a 500-kilovolt 84-mile electric transmission line. On December 31, 2012, the Company acquired Ridgeline Energy Ho ldings, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Dan Burrows]
Regardless of the fundamentals, the sentiment on Argentina is too negative to take a risk with APSA stock.
Atlantic Power (AT)
Market Cap: $326 million
Dividend Yield: 13%
YTD Price Performance: -19%
- [By Richard Stavros]
But securing incremental long-term contracts often depends on factors outside management’s control. “Recent events at Atlantic Power Corp (NYSE: AT) demonstrate the shortcoming of a YieldCo strategy, ” the report states, noting the now infamous dividend cut that the firm had to make because of the firm’s “inability to extend expiring contracts and to secure sufficient long-term replacement contracts.”
Hot Diversified Bank Companies To Own For 2014: China Citic Bank Corp Ltd (CHCJY)
CHINA CITIC BANK CORPORATION LIMITED is a commercial bank. The Bank operates its businesses primarily through retailing banking, including band card services, saving, personal loan, wealth management, credit card, banking services, private banking, financial services of traveling abroad and electronic banking services; corporate banking, including financial organization services, international business, investment banking, supply chain financing, account settlement, financing services for small enterprises, trading services, cash management, asset management, international settlement and trade financing, among others, as well as capital market business, including foreign exchange business, bond business, trading of financing and derivative products, financial service platform and financial solutions. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks opened lower Tuesday, after China’s central bank reportedly drained 48 billion yuan ($7.9 billion) from the money market on Tuesday through bond-repurchase agreements. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) moved lower by 0.3%. Banks retreated, as China Merchants Bank Co., (HK:3968) (CIHHF) declined 2.2%, Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) fell 1.6%, China Minsheng Banking Corp. (HK:1988) (CMAKY) lost 1.4%, and China Citic Bank Corporation (HK:998) (CHCJY) dropped 1.2%. China’s Dongfeng Motor Group Co. (HK:489) , currently in negotiations to buy a stake in PSA Peugeot Citroen, suspended trading of its H-shares in Hong Kong markets. The state-owned car maker didn’t clarify the reason in the announcement. On Monday, the company said in a filing that its commercial-vehicle unit has been served with a request for arbitration by a Brazilian firm, which is seeking damages of approximately 1.67 billion Brazilian reals ($700 million) for Dongfeng’s failure to establish a joint venture with the firm. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index (CN:SHCOMP) gave up 0.5% to 2,125.54.
Hot Diversified Bank Companies To Own For 2014: China Unicom (CHU)
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (Unicom), incorporated on February 8, 2000, is an integrated telecommunications operator in China providing mobile voice and value-added, fixed-line voice and fixed-line broadband, data communications and other telecommunications services to its customers. The Company operates in two business segments consisting of mobile services and fixed-line services. The Company is engaged in global system for mobile communications (GSM) and wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) cellular business in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, the provision of fixedline voice, broadband and other Internet-related services, information and communications technology services, business and data communications services, and other related telecommunication value-added businesses. As of 30 June 2011, Unicom Group held 57.81% of the shares in the Company through China United Network Communications Limited (A Share Company), China Uni com (BVI) Limited and China Netcom Group Corporation (BVI) Limited, and Telefonica Internacional S.A.U. held 9.01% of the shares in the Company.
Unicom’s mobile business consists of GSM and third generation (3G) mobile business. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had a total of 167.43 million mobile subscribers. As of December 31, 2010, its total number of mobile subscribers included 167.43 million. Unicom operates the 3G business based on the WCDMA technology nationwide in China. As of December 31, 2010, the total number of its 3G subscribers included 14.06 million, and had 1.35 million wireless data card subscribers, 2.41 million mobile television (TV) subscribers and over seven million mobile reading subscribers. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the total 3G voice usage was 55.47 billion minutes and the average data usage per subscriber per month was 178M. GSM mobile business primarily consists of GSM voice business an d value-added business.
The Company’s mobile ! voice business enables its subscribers to make and receive phone calls with a mobile handset at any point within the coverage area of its mobile telecommunications networks. Its mobile voice business includes local calls, domestic long distance calls, international long distance calls, intra-provincial roaming, inter-provincial roaming and international roaming. As of December 31, 2010, the Company’s total number of GSM mobile subscribers was 153.37 million. Unicom offers a range of GSM value-added services nationwide, including short message service (SMS), Cool Ringtone (a personalized ring-back tone service), mobile Internet and other wireless information services. During 2010, a total of 78.31 billion SMSs were transmitted by its GSM mobile subscribers. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had a total number of 67.26 million subscribers to its Cool Ringtone service. In addition, as of December 31, 2010, it had a total number of 55.81 million mobile Internet subscribers.
Unicom is a fixed-line broadband and communications operator in northern China. The Company offers a range of fixed-line services nationwide in China, including fixed-line broadband services and data communications services; fixed-line voice services, include local and long distance fixed-line voice services and value-added services, and other services. The Company is a provider of fixed-line broadband services in its fixed-line northern service region. Unicom is a provider of data communications services in its fixed-line northern service region. It offers managed data products, such as those based on digital data networks (DDN), frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and Internet protocol-virtual private network (IP-VPN). The Company also offers leased line products, including domestic and international leased circuits. Its customers for these services include government entities, large financial institutions and other domestic and multinational businesses, Internet service prov! iders and! other telecommunications operators.
As of December 31, 2010, the Company had established business cooperation relationships with more than 160 overseas operators to provide various international data communications products and services, such as international voice and data services. During 2010, it continued to offer full-scale data communications services to international operators and domestic and international corporate customers. The Company’s fixed-line voice services consist of local voice, domestic long distance, international long distance, value-added, interconnection and personal handyphone system (PHS) services. In addition to fixed-line telephone voice services, it offers a range of value-added services on its fixed-line networks. The Company’s fixed-line, value-added services include Personalized Ring and caller identification services. Personalized Ring services enable its fixed-line subscribers to personalize the ring-back tone for incoming calls. As of December 31, 2010, the number of its Personalized Ring subscribers reached 23.79 million.
Interconnection and Roaming Arrangements
The Company earns interconnection fees for terminating or transiting calls that originate from other domestic telecommunications operators’ networks and pay interconnection fees to other operators for calls originating from its networks that are terminated on their networks. It earns and pays such fees in respect of mobile calls, local and domestic and international long distance calls and Internet services, except for the interconnection by fixed-line subscribers calling its mobile subscribers in the same region where no interconnection fee will be charged.
The Company provides roaming services, which allow its subscribers to access its mobile services while they are physically outside of their registered service area or in the coverage areas of other mobile networks in other countries and re gions with which it has roaming arrangements. As of April 30! , 2011, U! nicom had roaming arrangements for GSM international voice and SMS services with 242 operators in 521 countries and regions; GPRS international inbound data services with 179 operators in 400 countries and regions and for international GPRS outbound data services with 164 operators in 357 countries and regions, and 3G services with 104 WCDMA operators in 245 countries and regions.
The Company’s mobile network consists of cell sites, which are physical locations, each equipped with a base station that houses transmitters, receivers and other equipment used to communicate through radio channels with subscribers’ mobile handsets within the range of a cell; base station controllers, which connect to, and control, the base stations, and mobile switching centers, which control the base station controllers and the routing of telephone calls. Its mobile network also consists of a transmission network, which links the mobile switching cen ters, base station controllers, base stations and the public switched telephone network. It has deployed GSM and WCDMA mobile networks. The Company’s GSM mobile network mainly operates at 900 megahertz. It has also deployed GSM technology that operates at 1,800 megahertz in metropolitan areas to supplement the capacity of its existing mobile network. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately 329,000 GSM base stations.
The Company competes with China Mobile and China Telecom.
- [By Charles Sizemore]
Like Telenor, Telefonica is a classic “emerging markets lite” investment in that it is headquartered in a well-regulated European market yet gets the bulk of its revenues from emerging markets. About half of Telefonica’s operating profits come from Latin America. Telefonica also owns about 5% of China Unicom (CHU), China’s second-largest telecom operator.
- [By Jim Woods]
China Telecom (CHA) has seen its shares fall more than 16% over the past year, with much of that coming in 2014. China Unicom (CHU) stock has slumped 9% in the past 52 weeks, thanks to a 12% decline year-to-date.
Hot Diversified Bank Companies To Own For 2014: First Financial Bankshares Inc.(FFIN)
First Financial Bankshares, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides commercial banking products and services primarily in Texas. It offers commercial banking services, which include accepting and holding checking, savings, and time deposits, as well as automated teller machines, drive-in and night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, remote deposit capture services, Internet banking, transmitting funds, and other commercial banking services. The company also provides commercial, financial, agricultural, real estate construction, real estate mortgage, and consumer loans to businesses, professionals, individuals, and farm and ranch operations. In addition, it involves in the administration of various types of retirement and employee benefit accounts, which include 401(k) profit sharing plans and IRAs; and offers personal trust services that comprise the administration of estates, testamentary trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and agency accounts. Further, the company offers securities brokerage services. As of December 31, 2009, it operated 48 financial centers in Texas, including 10 locations in Abilene, 2 locations in Cleburne, 3 locations in Stephenville, 3 locations in Granbury, 2 locations in San Angelo, and 3 locations in Weatherford, as well as 1 location each in Mineral Wells, Hereford, Sweetwater, Eastland, Ranger, Rising Star, Southlake, Aledo, Willow Park, Brock, Alvarado, Burleson, Keller, Trophy Club, Boyd, Bridgeport, Decatur, Roby, Trent, Merkel, Clyde, Moran, Albany, Midlothian, and Glen Rose. The company was founded in 1956 and is based in Abilene, Texas.
- [By David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer]
In the following video, Motley Fool financial analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer discuss two stocks from the financial sector that they’re watching today. David tells us why he’s got his eye on JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) and the trials and tribulations of CEO Jamie Dimon and what he’ll be looking for at the company’s annual meeting in two weeks. Matt Koppenheffer discusses the smaller-cap First Financial Bankshares (NASDAQ: FFIN ) and why if Warren Buffett only had $1 million to invest, this might be one of the first places he’d look.
- [By Profit Fan]
After rising 67% in the past 52-weeks, it is understandable that the price targets for First Financial Bankshares (FFIN) are slightly under the bank’s current market price of $57.69 per share. But, the premium paid for these shares appear to be warranted.
Hot Diversified Bank Companies To Own For 2014: Reed Elsevier NV (ENL)
Reed Elsevier NV offers professional information solutions in North America and Europe. The companys Scientific, Technical & Medical segment publishes research, reference, and education content; and offers database and workflow solutions for scientists, research leaders and administrators, doctors, nurses, health professionals, and students, as well as hospitals, academic and research institutions, health insurers, managed healthcare organizations, research corporations, and governments. It also provides abstract and citation database of research literature; an oil and gas exploration tool that packages research-relevant geological content and tags that content to enable search functionality; and solutions for synthetic chemists. In addition, this segment offers software and tools that enhance research outcomes of academic institutions and researchers; and Web-based tools for the engineering community. Its Risk Solutions segment provides data and analytics to property an d casualty personal and commercial, and life insurance carriers; and risk and identity management, fraud detection, credit risk management, and compliance solutions for financial institutions, as well as offers risk-related information to the legal industry. The companys Business Information segment provides data services, such as information and pricing services for the chemicals, fertilizers, and energy sectors; payment routing data and anti-money laundering services, as well as compliance information to the banking and corporate sectors; online regulatory guidance, practices, and tools for HR professionals; and online construction data and information to the construction industry. Its Legal segment offers legal, regulatory, news and business, and analysis services to legal, corporate, government, and academic customers. The companys Exhibitions segment organizes exhibitions and conferences in various industries. Reed Elsevier NV was founded in 1903 and is based in Am s terdam, the Netherlands.
- [By Vanina Egea]
Reed Elsevier NV (ENL) is a diversified publisher and information provider. It works on a wide range of market segments that include scientific, technical and medical (STM); legal; risks solutions and business information and exhibitions. The key of the company’s growth, however, lies almost exclusively in two brands: Elsevier and LexisNexis.
- [By David Hunkar]
Current Dividend Yield: 4.68%
Sector: Electric Utilities
Company: Reed Elsevier NV (ENL)
Current Dividend Yield: 3.03%
Country: The Netherlands