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Do cheaper shares suggest a buying opportunity for investors—or a company that's hit its limits?
If you bought shares of Apple APPLE INC. AAPL -0.47% in recent months, you might be feeling pretty frustrated right now: After a stellar rise in the beginning half of the year, Apple’s share price this month dropped below $120 for the first time since February.
The price dive began after the company’s third quarter earnings report showed iPhone sales of 47.5 million, missing analysts’ expectations for 48.8 million. While that might seem like a minor miss for a business sitting on more than $200 billion in cash, it shows just how high hopes have gotten for what’s already the world’s most valuable company.
“Investors expect Apple to keep finding new ways to move the needle, but that needle keeps getting bigger and harder to move,” says Becker Capital Management president Pat Becker Jr., who invests in Apple through Becker’s value equity fund.
Whether you see this as simply a “correction” or an overreaction depends in part on your confidence in Apple’s ability to keep hitting home runs out of the park. The company’s most recent home run is still the iPhone, which generated 63% of sales last quarter. So two big questions for Apple are how well the phone can keep selling and what—if anything—can succeed it as Apple’s next big thing.
To the first question, while some reports show Apple’s smartphone market share increasing in the U.S., others actually suggest Google’s Android devices might be gaining on the iPhone domestically. And even though iPhone demand is growing in Europe, there are fears that a devalued Chinese yuan could erode consumer demand for Apple’s phone in China.
Then again, revenue from the iPhone’s loyal customer base seems like an incredibly reliable source of cash flow, as investor Carl Icahn has said: Every two years, like clockwork so far, millions of people upgrade their phones. And only 27% of current iPhone users have upgraded to an iPhone 6, which leaves plenty of room for sales success this coming year, says Becker.
But the question of what will be the “next iPhone” is trickier. Sales of the Apple Watch and iPad have been disappointing, at least relative to the hype accompanying them. And other new offerings, like the streaming service Apple Music, haven’t yet distinguished themselves from competitors (like Spotify).
Still, any bearishness about Apple today must be put in perspective: After all, the Cupertino, California-based company has had a stellar year—even after the recent correction—with a share price 20% higher than it was a year ago.
“Nobody should be buying Apple expecting it to double in the next year,” says Villere Balanced Fund co-portfolio manager Lamar Villere, who owns the stock in his fund. “But you’re also not taking a lot of risk.”
“Not taking a lot of risk” seems like a strange way to describe investing in a tech business. But Apple’s evolution into a mature company means investors can now count on steady dividends and share buybacks, Villere says, and steady income might be the company’s biggest selling point for investors today. As long as the iPhone maintains its current popularity, the company doesn’t truly need a game-changer—at least not just yet.
If there were a game-changer going forward, one possibility might be payment services, says Becker, if the company can expand the base of consumers using Apple Pay.
“If they can grab transaction revenue, that’s the holy grail,” he says. “We don’t think that’s priced into the stock right now.”
Apple’s P/E ratio, a measure of how high prices are relative to earnings, is only about 13 right now. For some perspective, Google—which just announced a massive restructuring—is trading for about 31 times earnings.
It could make you richer.+ READ ARTICLE
Negotiation before starting a job is key. “Once you get inside your workplace,” says author Kerry Hannon, “getting those raises gets harder and harder.” Raises tend to be incremental, around 3% this year, but if you change companies, you could negotiate your salary much higher than that. A higher starting salary has repercussions down the line, like saving more for retirement. Do some reconnaissance about the company’s salary ranges if you can. And remember: “Any time someone hires you, it’s not about you; it’s about them,” says Hannon. “It’s what you can do for them.”
Angry men lose only half that amount in perceived worth.
Being overly aggressive or negative at work is never a good idea. But a new study finds that certain displays of assertiveness are perceived as especially unacceptable for women.
If a woman comes across as angry or critical, she is rated as 35% less competent and worthy of $15,088 less in pay than a woman who doesn’t rock the boat. Similar behavior by men costs them only about half as much in perceived fair compensation.
Corporate training company VitalSmarts surveyed more than 11,000 people in June to reach its results, which included this silver lining: Sometimes acknowledging sexism can reduce its effects.
When a woman prefaces a harsh comment with a “framing” phrase, like “I know it’s a risk for a woman to speak this assertively, but I’m going to express my opinion very directly,” backlash can be reduced by as much as 27%.
While discussing gender bias so openly might not feel comfortable in every workplace, more neutral statements also help reduce the negative effects on perception. One example: “I see this as a matter of honesty and integrity, so it’s important for me to be clear about where I stand.”
The study involved participants watching male and female actors reading the same scripts, pretending to be managers delivering criticism and suggesting there might be consequences for poor performance. After watching the actors, participants rated the “managers” in terms of competency and deserved pay.
Read More: 7 Myths About Women Leaders Debunked
The chain thanks the Daily Show’s departing host "for being a friend" despite Stewart's constant burns.+ READ ARTICLE
Money talks, and apparently it talks louder than years of insults.
Fast food chain Arby’s has reportedly bought two ad slots for Jon Stewart’s Wednesday night show, the penultimate night of his 16-year run as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show.
During the past decade, Stewart has described Arby’s as “a dare for your colon” and “shock and awe for your bowels,” often inventing fake tag lines such as, “Arby’s: Technically it’s food” and “Arby’s: Because your hunger is stronger than your memory.”
Though Arby’s declined to comment on how much it paid for the ads, marketers are spending about $230,000 per 30 seconds of time, ad buyers told the Wall Street Journal. That’s roughly five times the normal rates for this past quarter.
It seems the fast food company, like other advertisers, are hungry for access to the Daily Show‘s young and affluent audience—a viewership that’s expected to balloon in the days before Stewart leaves the show.
It also wouldn’t be the first time someone noticed that Stewart’s insults might actually be good for Arby’s bottom line.
You can watch one of the Stewart-themed ads Arby’s will run on Wednesday night in the video below.
Read next: Jon Stewart’s 5 Most Priceless Money Moments
The new data comes from patient surveys conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
In addition to reviews written by users, the Yelp pages for many hospitals now include government information about doctors’ communication skills, room noise levels, and emergency room wait times.
The information comes from research by ProPublica, a non-profit public interest group, and is based on patient surveys and data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“We’re taking data that otherwise might live in some government pdf that’s hard to find and we’re putting it in a context where it makes sense for people who may be in the middle of making critical decisions,” Yelp policy vice president Luther Lowe told the Washington Post.
While prospective patients and their loved ones might appreciate the extra information, some of Yelp’s hospital pages still lack the new box—and those that have it still won’t tell you much great detail about the quality and safety of patient care.
Rather than using Yelp to choose a hospital, you might want to go through the official Medicare.gov “hospital compare” tool, which lists the same information found on Yelp and more.
The Medicare tool lets you view potential hospitals side by side, compare pain management, room cleanliness, and how often staff follow correct protocol, among other factors.
Of course, picking a hospital usually takes more than just reading up on statistics and ratings. For three good rules of thumb about how to narrow down your choices, check out MONEY contributor Philip Moeller’s piece on how to choose the best hospital.
Relax—it's not as bad as it sounds.
Lots of people share Amazon Prime accounts, whether through a roommate or parent (sometimes one and the same), or friend or significant other or neighbor’s orthodontist’s husband.
Now the company is tightening its rules about just how many people can officially enjoy the benefits of one $99 Amazon account, which previously allowed Prime members to share the online retailer’s two-day free shipping feature with four other adults.
Amazon is now saying that only two adults in one “household” can share an account. Profiles for up to four children can also be added, but those won’t come with distinct login credentials. Parents can create a “family library” that lets each child set up a personalized collection of books and movies, a spokeswoman said.
Still, the change isn’t actually as restrictive as it sounds. People currently registered to use friends’ accounts for two-day shipping are grandfathered in—at least until the accounts come up for renewal.
And people who already share with just one person will actually see new benefits beyond free deliveries. Unlike before, joint-account holders will now also be able to share access to Amazon Prime streaming video and Kindle books. (The catch, however, is that you’ll have to be comfortable authorizing the other person to use your saved credit and debit card information.)
Setting up a shared account is a simple process, as Business Insider explains: The biggest hurdle might be deciding whose credit card will get automatically charged for movie rentals. Instructions for how to “remove an adult from a household” are similarly easy (unlike in real life).
As for those folks who share one Prime account the unsanctioned way, by passing around a single username and password?
Nothing will change, and it will still be possible to share streaming video and two-day shipping, and add multiple shipping addresses and credit cards. Of course, you will technically be violating company policy—and it will be very hard to buy gifts for your spouse discreetly. But for now at least, Amazon is not going to hunt you down.
LaMarcus Aldridge has a lot of footwear.
After nine seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge is coming home to an $80 million contract with the Spurs—and a brand new house he commissioned.
The one problem?
His “massive” closet turned out to be too small to contain his collection of more than 150 pairs of shoes.
In a new video interview with Slam Magazine, the NBA player says his solution is to build a mini-house behind his regular house to act as “a little showroom” for his footwear.
Here’s the full interview, below.
The company also ranked the worst schools for financial aid.
Princeton Review has just come out with its annual rankings of the best colleges in the United States.
The rankings include more than 60 lists from the company’s 2016 edition Best 380 Colleges guide, including guidance on how to find the best party schools, as well as a glimpse at which colleges offer the stingiest financial aid packages (New York University and University of Delaware come in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively).
There are also rankings that address academic concerns, such as the best colleges for “classroom experience,” a list topped by Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Bennington College.
To arrive at these lists—which also include best “green” colleges (those committed to environmental sustainability) and best athletic facilities—Princeton Review compiles the results of more than 130,000 student surveys.
But Princeton Review chooses not to publish an “overall” ranking, so when you navigate to the full “Best 380” list, it’s lacking in specific number rankings; a representative confirmed that the company means to say that all 380 schools are good, but not in any particular order.
If you are looking for a different take on best colleges that specifically addresses which schools offer the best value for your tuition dollar, check out MONEY’s College Planner. There you can drill down with lists like the 50 most affordable private colleges and the 50 best colleges you can actually get into (since not everyone can get into #1 pick Stanford), and get personalized rankings for the categories you care about most.
Your current mobile carrier will have to do for now
Apple on Tuesday is denying reports that it’s planning to launch a new mobile carrier service in the United States and Europe.
The rumored service would have made Apple a middleman—or mobile virtual network operator (MVNO)—between cellphone carriers and users, who would pay Apple directly for data, calls, and texts.
“We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO,” an Apple spokeswoman wrote in a statement.
One difference from the old model, in which users purchase a carrier-specific plan directly from telecom companies like Verizon, is that MVNOs can switch between carriers to get the best service.
Apple rival Google is working on a small-scale MNVO project called “Project Fi,” which relies on a combination of Wi-Fi hotspots as well as Sprint and T-Mobile’s wireless networks.
Read More: The Best Cellphone Plan for You in 2015