Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) stock price has performed extremely well over the last two years, nearly doubling in 2012, and is off to a strong start this year. However, with new allegations of mortgage settlement violations and the imminent unwinding of the Fed’s stimulus program, is Bank of America worth the risk? Let’s use relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET framework to see whether Bank of America is an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY.
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C = Catalysts for the Stock’s Movement
Home loans are an important part of Bank of America’s operations and revenue stream. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the bank drastically reduced the amount of new mortgage loans. Recently, the housing market has regained some strength, and Bank of America has picked up its new mortgage loan issuances to meet demand. In the first quarter, mortgage originations experienced a quarter-over-quarter increase of 57 percent. With home sales showing positive growth over the last several quarters, Bank of America can expect continued profits in this division.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: OCI Resources LP (OCIR)
Oci Resources LP, incorporated on April 22, 2013, is a limited partnership formed by OCI Holdings to operate the trona ore mining and soda ash production business of OCI Wyoming. The Company owns a controlling 40.98% general partner interest and 10.02% limited partner interest in OCI Wyoming, serving a global market from its facility in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. As of March 31, 2013, OCI Wyoming had proven and probable reserves of approximately 267.1 million short tons of trona, which is equivalent to 145.5 million short tons of soda ash. During the year ended December 31, 2012, OCI Wyoming mined approximately 3.87 million short tons of trona and produced approximately 2.45 million short tons of soda ash.
Trona, a naturally occurring soft mineral, is also known as sodium sesquicarbonate and consists primarily of sodium carbonate, or soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and water. The Company process trona ore into soda ash, which is an essential raw material i n flat glass, container glass, detergents, chemicals, paper and other consumer and industrial products. The majority of the world’s trona reserves are located in the Green River Basin.
- [By Robert Rapier]
OCI Resources (NYSE: OCIR) is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based OCI Chemical, which operates the trona ore mining and soda ash production business of one of the largest and lowest cost natural soda ash producers in the world. The partnership debuted on Sept. 13 and had the worst opening day of any MLP IPO since 2010. On the first day of trading, units closed down more than 5 percent. They have since recovered, and now trade 6 percent above the IPO price. Beginning with the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013, OCIR intends to distribute at least the minimum quarterly distribution of $0.5000 per unit, or $2 on an annualized basis. At the recent unit closing price of $19.91, this corresponds to a prospective annual yield of 10 percent.
- [By Renaissance Capital IPO Research]
The following IPOs are expected to price this week:
OCI Resources LP (OCIR), a north American soda ash production business of Korea’s OCI Chemical, plans to raise $100 million by offering 5.0 million shares at a price range of $19.00 to $21.00. At the midpoint of the proposed range, OCI Resources LP would command a market value of $399 million. OCI Resources LP, which was founded in 1962, booked $446 million in sales over the last 12 months. The Atlanta, GA-based company plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol OCIR. Citi and Goldman Sachs are the joint bookrunners on the deal.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: NK Lukoil OAO (LUKOY)
LUKOIL is a Russia-based integrated oil and gas company. The Company is engaged in the business of oil exploration, production, refining, marketing and distribution. The Company’s exploration and production activity is located in Russia, and its main resource base is in Western Siberia. It owns modern refineries, gas processing and petrochemical plants located in Russia, Eastern and Western Europe. The Company’s petroleum products are sold in Russia, Eastern and Western Europe and United States. The Company operates in four business segments: exploration and production, refining, marketing and distribution, and chemicals and other business.
In January 2009, the Company acquired a 100% interest in Energoaktiv ZAO. In March 2009, the Company established a subsidiary, LUKOIL Overseas Holding GmbH. In Addition, in March 2009, LUKoil OAO increased its stake in TGK-8 OAO up to 60.21% from 31.38% previously held. In December 2009, the Company sold its 99.99% stake in Agentstvo LUKOM-A OOO. In February 2010, the Company established a research center, LUKOIL-Engineering OOO, which would be responsible for the research and engineering complex of the exploration and production business segment. The main production region of the Company is Western Siberia. LUKOIL is carrying out international exploration and production projects in Kazakhstan, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Venezuela, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Iraq.
LUKOIL owns oil refining capacity both in Russia and abroad. In Russia the Company owns four large refineries at Perm, Volgograd, Ukhta and Nizhny Novgorod. Total capacity of LUKOIL facilities in Russia is 44.7 million tons of oil per year. LUKOIL also has refineries in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, and a 49% stake in ISAB refining complex (island of Sicily, Italy), with total capacity of 21.8 million tons per year.
- [By Charles Sizemore]
Next on the list is French oil major Total SA (TOT). Total raised some eyebrows last month as discussions progressed to develop Russia’s massive shale fields in partnership with Lukoil (LUKOY). It appears that, despite the ongoing threat of sanctions from the United States, business is going on as usual in the real world.
- [By Dividend Growth Investor]
ConocoPhillips (COP) explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids on a worldwide basis. I am attracted to the above average yield on ConocoPhillips, in comparison to Exxon and Chevron. Unfortunately Chevron is already one of my highest weighted positions, which is why ConocoPhillips was the second US oil choice. I am building my position in the stock with this purchase. The company is extremely well run, has a history of disposing out of non-core assets such as Lukoil stock (LUKOY) and Kashagan Project, and sending cash to shareholders in the process. The company has increased dividends for 13 years in a row, and has managed to boost them by 15.10%/year over the past decade. Currently, the stock trades at 10.70 times earnings and yields 4.20%. Check my analysis of ConocoPhillips.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: Pzena Investment Management Inc (PZN)
Pzena Investment Management, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides investment advisory services to funds. It provides its services to individuals, typically high net worth individuals; investment companies; charitable organizations; corporations; state or municipal government entities; pension and profit sharing plans; and pooled investment vehicles. The firm manages separate client-focused equity portfolios. It invests in the public equity markets across the globe. The firm primarily invests in value stocks of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap companies. It employs fundamental analysis while making its investments. Pzena Investment Management, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is based in New York, New York.
- [By Serena Saitto]
Officials at another Dell shareholder, Pzena Investment Management Inc. (PZN), which has opposed the buyout, didn’t return calls seeking comment.
- [By Bristol Voss]
Pzena Investment Management (NYSE: PZN) is an investment manager catering to wealthy families and other institutions. It has the largest market cap at $85.4 million, and its share price, although the highest at about $7, buys the most market cap per dollar of the three. It has a forward P/E of 14 and a dividend yield of 1.7%. For the most recent quarter, revenue grew 5.4% and earnings were flat. Although Pzena's gross profit margin was down from the previous year, it remains a very high 45.2%.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd (AHL)
Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (Aspen Holdings), incorporated on May 23, 2002, is a holding company. The Company conducts insurance and reinsurance business through its subsidiaries in three jurisdictions: Aspen Insurance UK Limited (Aspen U.K.) and Aspen Underwriting Limited (AUL), corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (United Kingdom), Aspen Bermuda Limited (Aspen Bermuda) and Aspen Specialty Insurance Company (Aspen Specialty) and Aspen American Insurance Company (AAIC). Aspen UK. also has branches in Paris (France), Zurich (Switzerland), Dublin (Ireland), Cologne (Germany), Singapore, Australia and Canada. It operates in the global markets for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance. It manages its insurance and reinsurance businesses as two distinct underwriting segments, Aspen Insurance and Aspen Reinsurance (Aspen Re), to serve its global customer base. Its insurance segment is consisted of property, casualty, marine, energy and transp ortation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its reinsurance segment is consisted of property reinsurance (catastrophe and other), casualty reinsurance and specialty reinsurance. In April 2013, the reinsurance segment of the Company announced the formation of a new division, Aspen Capital Markets.
In the Company’s insurance segment, property, casualty and financial and professional lines insurance business is written in the London Market through Aspen U.K. and in the United States through Aspen Specialty and AAIC. Its marine, energy and transportation insurance business is written through Aspen U.K. and AUL, which is the corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), managed by Aspen Managing Agency Limited (AMAL). It also writes casualty business through AUL. In reinsurance, property reinsurance business is assumed by Aspen Bermuda and Aspen U.K. The property reinsurance business written in the United States is wr itten by Aspen Re America and ARA-CA as reinsurance intermed! iaries with offices in Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, New York, Georgia and California. The business written in the United States is produced by Aspen Re America.
The Company’s reinsurance segment consists of property catastrophe reinsurance, other property reinsurance (risk excess, pro rata, risk solutions and facultative), casualty reinsurance (the United States treaty, international treaty and global facultative) and specialty reinsurance (credit and surety, structured, agriculture and specialty). Property catastrophe reinsurance is written on a treaty excess of loss basis where it provides protection to an insurer for an agreed portion of the total losses from a single event in excess of a specified loss amount. In the event of a loss, contracts provide for coverage of a second occurrence following the payment of a premium to reinstate the coverage under the contract, which is referred to as a reinstatement premium. The coverage p rovided under excess of loss reinsurance contracts may be on a global basis or limited in scope to selected regions or geographical areas.
Other property reinsurance includes risk excess of loss and proportional treaty reinsurance, facultative or single risk reinsurance and its risk solutions business. Risk excess of loss reinsurance provides coverage to a reinsured where it experiences a loss in excess of its retention level on a single risk basis. Proportional contracts involve close client relationships, including regular audits of the cedants’ data. Its risk solutions business writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. Casualty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss, proportional and facultative basis and consists of the United States treaty, international treaty and casualty facultative. Its United States treaty business consists of exposures to workers’ compensation (including catastrophe), medical ma lpractice, general liability, auto liability, professional l! iability ! and excess liability, including umbrella liability. Its international treaty business reinsures exposures respect to general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation and excess liability.
Specialty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss and proportional basis and consists of credit and surety reinsurance, structured risks, agriculture reinsurance and other specialty lines. Its credit and surety reinsurance business consists of trade credit reinsurance, international surety reinsurance (mainly European, Japanese and Latin American risks and excluding the United States) and a political risks portfolio. Its agricultural reinsurance business is written on a treaty basis covering crop and multi-peril business. Other specialty lines include reinsurance treaties and some insurance policies covering policyholders’ interests in marine, energy, liability aviation, space, contingency, terrorism, nuclear, personal accident and crop r einsurance. A percentage of the property reinsurance contracts it writes exclude coverage for losses arising from the peril of terrorism. These contracts exclude coverage protecting against nuclear, biological or chemical attack.
The Company competes Arch Capital Group Ltd., Axis Capital Holdings Limited (Axis), Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (Endurance), Everest Re Group Limited, Lancashire Holdings Limited, Montpelier Re Holdings Limited, PartnerRe Ltd., Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd., Renaissance Re Holdings Ltd., Validus Holdings Ltd., XL Capital Ltd. (XL) and various Lloyd’s syndicates.
The Company’s insurance segment consists of property insurance, casualty insurance, marine, energy and transportation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its property insurance line comprises the United Kingdom commercial property and construction business and the United States property business. Property insurance provides physical damage and business interruption! coverage! for losses arising from weather, fire, theft and other causes. The United States commercial property team covers mercantile, manufacturing, municipal and commercial real estate business. The United States property also includes its program business, which writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. The United Kingdom commercial team’s client base is predominantly the United Kingdom institutional property owners, middle market corporates and public sector clients.
The Company’s casualty insurance line comprises commercial liability, global excess casualty, the United States casualty insurance and environmental liability, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. Commercial liability is written in the United Kingdom and provides employers’ liability coverage and public liability coverage for insureds domiciled in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The global excess casualty line comprises risk-manage d insureds globally and covers risks at points, including general liability, commercial and residential construction liability, life science, railroads, trucking, product and public liability and associated types of cover found in general liability policies in the global insurance market. The United States casualty account consists of lines written within the general liability and umbrella liability insurance sectors. Coverage on its general liability line is offered on those risks that are miscellaneous, products liability, contractors (general contractors and artisans), real estate and retail risks and other general liability business. The United States environmental account provides contractors’ pollution liability and pollution legal liability across industry segments that have environmental regulatory drivers and contractual requirements for coverage, including real estate and public entities, contractors and engineers, energy contractors and environmental contractors and consultants. The business is written in both the primar! y and exc! ess insurance markets.
The Company’s marine, energy and transportation insurance line comprises marine, energy and construction (M.E.C.) liability, energy physical damage, marine hull, specie, inland marine and ocean risks and aviation, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. The M.E.C. liability business includes marine liability cover related to the liabilities of ship-owners and port operators, including reinsurance of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs). It also provides liability cover for companies in the oil and gas sector, both onshore and offshore and in the power generation and the United States commercial construction sectors. Energy physical damage provides insurance cover against physical damage losses in addition to Operators Extra Expenses (OEE) for companies operating in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. The marine hull team insures physical damage for ships (including war and associated perils) and rel ated marine assets. The specie business line focuses on the insurance of property items on an all risks basis, including fine art, general and bank related specie, jewelers’ block and armored car. The inland marine and ocean cargo team writes business covering builders’ construction risk, contractors’ equipment, transportation and ocean cargo risks in addition to exhibition, fine arts and museums insurance.
The aviation team writes physical damage insurance on hulls and spares (including war and associated perils) and comprehensive legal liability for airlines, smaller operators of airline equipment, airports and associated business and non-critical component part manufacturers. It also provides aviation hull deductible cover. Its financial and professional lines comprise financial institutions, professional liability (including management and technology liability), financial and political risks and the United States surety risks, written on a primary, qu ota share and facultative basis. Its financial institutions ! business ! is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis and consists of professional liability, crime insurance and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) cover. It covers financial institutions, including commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, stockbrokers and insureds with hybrid business models. Its professional liability business is written out of the United States (including Errors and Omissions (E&O)), the United Kingdom and Switzerland and is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis.
The Company insures a range of professions, including lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers. Its management and technology liability teams write on both a primary and excess basis D&O insurance, technology-related policies in the areas of network privacy, misuse of data and cyber liability and warranty and indemnity insurance in connection with, or to facilitate, corporate transactions. The financial and political risks team writes business covering the credit/default risk on a range of project and trade transactions, as well as political risks, terrorism (including multi-year war on land cover), piracy and kidnap and ransom (K&R). It writes financial and political risks globally but with concentrations in a range of countries, such as Russia, China, Brazil, the Netherlands and United States. Its surety team writes commercial surety risks, admiralty bonds and similar maritime undertakings, including federal and public official bonds, license and permits and fiduciary and miscellaneous bonds and privately owned companies in the United States.
- [By Anna Prior]
Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd.(AHL) said it expects second-quarter operating earnings above Wall Street projections, citing “the continued excellent performance across our businesses.”
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Equities Trading UP
Aspen Insurance Holdings (NYSE: AHL) shares shot up 11.05 percent to $43.72 after Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE: ENH) offered to buy Aspen Insurance for $47.50 per share in a cash and stock deal.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
Equities Trading UP
Aspen Insurance Holdings (NYSE: AHL) shares shot up 11.33 percent to $43.83 after Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE: ENH) offered to buy Aspen Insurance for $47.50 per share in a cash and stock deal.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: Systemax Inc.(SYX)
Systemax Inc. operates as a direct marketer of brand name and private label products. The company operates in two segments, Technology Products and Industrial Products. The Technology Products segment sells computers, computer supplies, and consumer electronics in North America and Europe. This segment offers individual technology products in categories, including computers; computer parts; television and video; audio; cameras and surveillance; car and GPS; cell phones; software; video games and toys; home and office; and other products. The Industrial Products segment sells various industrial products and supplies in North America. This segment provides products in categories, such as material handling; storage and shelving; workbench and shop desks; packaging and supplying; furniture and office; foodservice and appliances; janitorial and maintenance; tools and instruments; fasteners and hardware; motors and power transmission; HVAC/R and fans; electrical and bulbs; plumb ing supplies; and safety and medical items. The company offers its products through its relationship marketers, catalog mailings, and Internet Websites. It serves individual consumers; and business customers comprising for-profit businesses, educational organizations, and government entities. Its portfolio of catalogs comprises various brand names, such as TigerDirect.com, Global Computer Supplies, TigerDirect.ca, Misco, Global Industrial, Nexel, and Inmac WStore. As of December 31, 2011, the company operated 42 retail stores in North America; and 7 distribution centers in Europe. Systemax Inc. was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Port Washington, New York.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Loyalty and marketing specialist Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS ) grabbed a tiger by the tail with a multiyear agreement to provide private label credit card services to Systemax (NYSE: SYX ) subsidiary TigerDirect.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Systemax (NYSE: SYX ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: Post Holdings Inc (POST)
Post Holdings, Inc., incorporated on September 22, 2011, is a holding company. The Company is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded ready-to-eat cereals in the United States and Canada. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Great Grains, Grape-Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, Golden Crisp, Alpha-Bits and Honeycomb. It markets and sells ready-to-eat cereal products in three different categories: sweetened, balanced and unsweetened. Its sweetened products include Pebbles, Honeycomb, Golden Crisp, Alpha-Bits and Waffle Crisp. Its balanced products include Honey Bunches of Oats, Post Selects, Great Grains and Shreddies. The Company’s unsweetened products include Post Shredded Wheat, Post Raisin Bran and Grape-Nuts. Effective January 1, 2014, the Company announced it has completed the acquisition of private label pasta manufacturer Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc. Effective January 2, 2014, Post Holdings Inc acquired Ag ricore United Holdings Inc from Viterra Inc, a unit of Glencore Xstrata PLC, and the transaction also included Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc. Effective January 1, 2014, Post Holdings Inc acquired Dymatize Enterprises LLC, a Farmers Branch-based manufacturer and wholesaler of nutrition supplement. Effective January 1, 2014, it acquired Dymatize Enterprises LLC and Golden Boy Foods Ltd.
Honey Bunches of Oats is in the ready-to-eat cereal market. The Company’s Pebbles brands include Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles. The products are manufactured through a flexible production platform consisting of four owned primary facilities and sold through a variety of channels, such as grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, and drug stores.
- [By Luke Jacobi]
Shares of Post Holdings (NYSE: POST) were down 15.9 percent to $37.43 after the company reported a Q3 loss of $0.30 per share on revenue of $633.0 million. The company also announced its plans to acquire American Blanching Company. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Post from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $70.00 to $45.00.
- [By Ali Berri]
Shares of Post Holdings (NYSE: POST) were down 17.52 percent to $36.71 after the company reported a Q3 loss of $0.30 per share on revenue of $633.0 million. The company also announced its plans to acquire American Blanching Company. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Post Holdings from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $70.00 to $45.00.
Hot Rising Companies For 2015: Avago Technologies Limited(AVGO)
Avago Technologies Limited engages in the design, development, and supply of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products. Its product portfolio comprises RF amplifiers, RF filters, RF front-end modules, ambient light sensors, light emitting diodes, low noise amplifiers, mm-wave mixers, optical finger navigation products, diodes, fiber optic transceivers, serializer/deserializer ASICs, motion control encoders and subsystems, optocouplers, and optical mouse sensors. The company?s products are used in cellular phones, consumer appliances, data networking and telecommunications equipment, enterprise storage and servers, renewable energy and smart power grid, factory automation, displays, optical mice, printers, voice and data communications, keypad and display backlighting, backlighting control, base stations, storage area networking, in-car infotainment, lighting, motor controls, power supplies, and optical disk drives applications. It markets its produ cts through a network of distributors and its direct sales force worldwide. The company sells approximately 6,500 products to original equipment manufacturers of wireless communications, wired infrastructure, industrial and automotive electronics, and consumer and computing peripherals markets. Avago Technologies Limited was founded in 2005 and is based in Singapore.
- [By ovenerio]
The company has a current ROE of 14.21% which is higher than the ones exhibited by Micron Technology (MU) and Broadcom Corp (BRCM). In general, analysts consider ROE ratios in the 15-20% range as representing attractive levels for investment. So for investors looking those levels or more, Texas Instruments and Avago Technologies Ltd (AVGO) could be the options. It is very important to understand this metric before investing, and it is important to look at the trend in ROE over time.
- [By Riddhi Kharkia]
Avago Technologies (AVGO) is on a roll in 2014, having gained around 32% on the stock exchange so far. The chip maker’s business is being accelerated by smartphone giants including Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF), to whom it supplies radio frequency chips. In fact, according to UBS Investment Research, Apple and Samsung are expected to account for 60%-65% of Avago’s revenue in the current fiscal.
- [By ICRAOnline]
Chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC) recently acquired the networking business of semiconductor company Avago Technologies (AVGO). Will this buy-out help Intel to expand its business? What are Intel’s plans? Let’s take a look.
- [By Riddhi Kharkia] a promising investment at the end of last year, and the company has delivered on it so far in 2014. Since the beginning of 2014, the stock has surged nearly 38% on the back of growing smartphone markets. But this stellar performance has made Avago shares expensive at 29 times trailing earnings, while the dividend yield has come down to 1.70%.
Moreover, the stock is trading close to its 52-week high, and Avago investors might be wondering if the stock is worth holding on to anymore. Well, the answer is that it is. Avago’s key clients Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF) are going to take the smartphone war to the next level this year. Since Avago plays from both sides, there’s a high probability that it will see solid revenue and earnings growth this fiscal year as well.
Smarter phones for smart people
Since Avago’s wireless communications business accounts for half of its top line, the boost that it is supposed to receive from Apple and Samsung will play a big role in its financial performance. In fact, in the previous quarter, despite subdued production of Apple’s iPhones, Avago managed to increase its wireless revenue, year over year. This was down to “sustained demand from a large OEM customer,” which could be Samsung as it is ramping up production and sale of the Galaxy S5.
Apple is expected to come into play later this year when it launches bigger iPhones. With the rumors around the launch of iPhone 6 gaining strength with every passing day, it is expected that the next iPhone product from Apple will include revolutionary features and break company’s previous sales records. Apple was a 10%-plus customer of Avago last fiscal year as the company gained content in the iPhone.
Now, we could be looking at a bump in the addressable market for Apple this year as it introduces bigger-sized iPhones. Additionally, Avago also supplies content for iPads and hence, it could see more Apple goodness later this year with the new iPad cycle.