Apple’s Services Business Is Growing Like The ‘FANG’ Stocks, Should It Be Valued Like One?

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Apple’s Services business has also seen robust growth, emerging as the company’s second largest segment in terms of revenue. Apple’s Services revenues grew by 21% in calendar year 2016 (the company’s fiscal year ends September 30) to a little over $25 billion, making it almost as large as Facebook. However, Apple, and its Services operations, aren’t valued like other high-profile Internet companies such as the so-called “FANG” stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (Alphabet). In this note, we take a look at some of the key drivers of Apple’s Services business and its valuation.

We have a $164 price estimate for Apple, which is slightly ahead of the current market price.

Why Apple’s Services Valuation Lags Other Internet Companies

We currently value Apple’s Services segment at about $150 billion (excluding Apple’s net cash position), using our discounted cash flow model. This translates to a forward revenue multiple of about 5x. This is well below Netflix (valued at ~7x forward revenues), Facebook (13x) and Google (6.3x). While this is partly due to slightly lower growth rates and potentially lower margins, there are also some other factors that limit Apple’s Services business from being valued like other Internet stocks. For one, Apple’s Services revenues are tied to the sales of its devices, and there could be a slowdown in sales if Apple’s hardware shipments falter. For instance, customers tend to buy the AppleCare plan at the time of their device purchases, while potentially loading up on more paid apps earlier in the life cycles of their devices. Moreover, Apple has been reluctant to leverage user data – which is extremely valuable for Internet companies – as it focuses on the privacy aspect of its devices. In contrast, Google, Amazon and Facebook have shown a willingness to work with user data from their search, e-commerce and social media operations to grow their businesses.

Apple Still Has Ambitious Plans For Services

Apple has set a target of effectively doubling its Services revenues by 2020 (~18% CAGR between 2016 and 2020). While the company has grown Services revenues at an average rate of around 23% per year over the last five years, driven by an expanding iOS user base (we estimate that the user base grew 3x between 2011 and 2016), it’s unlikely to see similar growth rates in its installed base going forward. Instead, the company will have to primarily rely on expanding its Services ARPU to meet its targets. We estimate that its ARPU (considering only iOS devices) stood at about $33 last year.

There could be multiple avenues for Apple to improve its services ARPU. Firstly, App store revenues are expanding, and there may be further scope for growth as Apple launches new developer kits such as the augmented reality-focused ARKit, which could enable a richer Services experience. Apple also earns a commission (typically 15% to 30%) from third-party subscriptions on its platform, and it could be a big beneficiary of trends such as cord cutting and a shift towards streaming music services. For instance, the number of paid subscriptions on its platforms, including both Apple and third-party services, now exceeds 185 million, marking an increase of 20 million in the last three months alone. The Apple Pay business could also see revenues accelerate (albeit from a very small base) over the next few years, as Apple has already done much of the heavy lifting in terms of building out the requisite infrastructure in many developed markets. The company’s push to capture more budget-conscious users with devices such as the $329 iPad and the iPhone SE could also help it to expand its installed base and, in turn, drive Services revenues. While we expect the Services business to be a major driver of the company’s long-term growth, its relative discount compared to the “FANG” companies does seem warranted.

 [Source”timesofindia”]

Teenage Bollywood actor faces vicious social media abuse and no one knows why

She’s 16, talented, newly famous. And unfortunately, facing vile abuse on social media.

Zaira Wasim, the young actor who dazzled audiences with her flawless debut in Dangal — India’s highest-grossing film ever — posted an inexplicable “confession/apology” on Facebook last night.

And then, she deleted it in no time.

Not before screenshots had been taken though.

Her note reeks of fear and coercion. And sadly, submission too. She says she is “sorry for what I did” and wants to “make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my foot steps or even consider me as a role model.”

What has she “done”? No one knows. Yet.

But there’s enough conjecture.

Going by the comments surfacing on social media, she’s either being bullied for meeting Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti or being criticized for her supposedly “un-Islamic” act of joining films.

Scores of abusive comments have flooded her Facebook page.

However, there’s a silver lining. Almost.

The hate comments have been outnumbered by the empathetic ones. All sections of Indian society from politicians and media-persons to film personalities and sportsmen, and of course, the masses have come out in loud support of the Kashmiri actor.

Noted among them is a comment from former Jammu & Kashmir CM and Mufti’s political rival, Omar Abdullah.

 

 

[Source:- Mashable]

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Phil Spencer Wants Shooter for Xbox One Backward Compatibility

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Phil Spencer Wants Shooter for Xbox One Backward Compatibility

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, expresses his desire for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to join the list of Xbox One’s backward compatible games.

According to information found on the Xbox Feedback site, Activision and Treyarch’s 2012 shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is currently the most highly requested game by fans for the Xbox One’s backward compatibility program, with more than 207,000 community votes, which is far more than gamers’ second choice of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, which presently holds upwards of 170,000 votes. Although Skyrim is an incredibly coveted candidate to become backward compatible on Xbox One, not only do the fans want Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to show up on the program’s list more, but also the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer, has expressed his interest in the shooter making its way onto the company’s current generation platform.

In response to a fan on Twitter, Spencer revealed his desire for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 coming to backward compatibility by initially apologizing for his lack of response by not addressing the community’s sheer craving for the title to show up on the program’s catalog of games. The Xbox boss followed up his apology by saying, “I really want to see this come to BC.”

 

[Source:- GR]

 

No Man’s Sky Was One of Steam’s Best Selling Games of 2016

No Man’s Sky Was One of Steam’s Best Selling Games of 2016

Steam reveals its best selling games of 2016, with No Man’s Sky reaching the highest tier and beating out many of the year’s other top titles, despite its challenges.

As we enter the New Year, it’s fun to look back and think about our favorite games of the past year, and reminisce on the entertainment and enjoyment that accompanied those games. It’s also useful to consider the games that were most disappointing, especially those that garnered massive hype, only to let players down in a big way.

Interestingly, games from both ends of the spectrum in terms of quality and reception can find massive financial success. This is perfectly displayed in Steam’s best selling games list of 2016. Over on Steam’s Top 100 Best Sellers of 2016, players will see some of the year’s biggest titles, including Rocket League, Tom Clancy’s The Division, No Man’s Sky, DOOM, and many others.

One game that stands out due to its placement on the list is No Man’s Sky. The space exploration title was one of the most highly-anticipated titles for years while gamers anxiously awaited the game’s release. Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky became one of the most disappointing games in recent history, sparking a massive rush for refund requests and leading the game to receive an “Overwhelmingly Negative” status on Steam.

Yet despite its failings, it seems No Man’s Sky is still a commercial success for developer Hello Games, at least according to Steam’s list of best sellers. That said, many gamers will look to No Man’s Sky as a clear example for an argument against pre-ordering video games. All the hype and excitement around the game helped drive incredible pre-order and first-day sales, which is likely how the game made the “Platinum” level of best sellers on Steam.

Once players got a chance to try the game and discover it was severely lacking many features that were touted for the space sim, sales plummeted, and haven’t recovered. So while No Man’s Skymade strong initial sales, its shortcomings will undoubtedly affect any future sales, as well as upcoming titles from Hello Games.

Interestingly, many of the year’s hottest titles don’t rank very high on Steam’s best sellers list. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare barely scraped its way into the Bronze class, despite its position as a top selling game in November and December. Watch Dogs 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Skyrim all made the Silver class, while DOOM and Stardew Valley both achieved Gold. Rocket League broke into the Platinum tier alongside No Man’s Sky.

The Division also reached the Platinum tier, despite its own challenges after launch. While the Ubisoft title experienced a boost toward the end of the year thanks to some much-needed updates and the release of a well-received expansion, it suffered months of player hemorrhaging over the summer, and currently sits at a “Mixed” position with player reviews on Steam.

It’ll be interesting to see how well this year’s lineup of games perform, especially 2017’s most highly-anticipated titles. Will players continue to pre-order, instead of wait to receive game reviews, or will they blindly move forward based on hype and marketing?

 

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

Gears of War 4 Xbox One S Bundles Revealed

Gears of War 4 Xbox One S Bundles Revealed

Two new bundles for Gears of War 4 have been announced, including an exclusive deep blue console, allowing players to buy the title alongside the new Xbox One S.

For those who are looking to enjoy Gears of War 4 at its best, Microsoft have revealed two bundles for the Xbox One S to celebrate the new chapter of their acclaimed franchise’s release, that will be available to purchase beginning October 11.

The first bundle comes with a white Xbox One S and a digital download copy of Gears of War 4, along with a 1TB hard drive and the new Xbox wireless controller. Priced at $349, the bundle will allow players to upgrade from their old Xbox One consoles, due to the new Xbox One S’s better performance on certain titles. In the case of Gears, the game supports High Dynamic Range on the new console which, according to the Xbox blog post, will make a big difference visually.

“Fans will experience richer, more luminous colors and a higher contrast ratio between lights and darks, bringing out the true visual depth of the battle against the Swarm,” claims General Manager for Xbox, Matt Lapsen in the company’s bundle announcement.

 

The second package deal is a Gears of War 4 special edition bundle, coming with a limited edition deep blue console and matching controller. This bundle comes with a 500GB hard drive and is available exclusively at GameStop and Microsoft Stores in the US (and at EB Games and Microsoft Stores in Australia). The special edition bundle comes with a physical edition of Gears 4 in the US and a digital download in Australia.

It’s worth noting that physical copies of Gears of War 4 do not qualify for the Xbox Play Anywhere feature, meaning that players who want a disk copy will not be able to play the game on Windows 10 PCs, unlike those who opt for a download.

Also, for a limited time, when fans purchase either bundle, they will get the entire Xbox 360 Gears of War collection for Xbox One at no extra cost, meaning that players can revisit the original games for a quick trip down memory lane before jumping into the next generation of Gears.

These aren’t the only Gears of War-themed consoles that will be coming in the near future, with the2TB red console sporting the Crimson Omen symbol, set to launch 4 days before the game’s release date. A brand-new Gears 4-themed Elite controller has also been revealed by The Coalition, featuring a red design, blood splatters, and scratch mark decals. Gamers who purchase the special edition controller can also get themselves an exclusive in-game item and three Gear Packs.

 

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

LinkedIn: The Number One Social Network for Entrepreneurs

LinkedIn co-founder and billionaire investor Reid Hoffman isn’t afraid to offer advice on how to improve your LinkedIn profile.

He’s also not shy about sharing his stance that entrepreneurs who are not using LinkedIn put themselves at a massive disadvantage.

“For entrepreneurs, more or less, if an entrepreneur is not using LinkedIn, I can nearly guarantee you that is not going to be a successful entrepreneur in this day and age,” Hoffman said during this video interview. “At this point, it’s almost a basic IQ test.”

Why LinkedIn Makes Sense For Entrepreneurs

Even putting aside Hoffman’s obvious bias toward LinkedIn, he does make a valid point.

“Part of how you succeed in an entrepreneurial business is you have to assemble a network of resources around the business at speed and at accuracy,” he says. “You need investors, you need employees, you need customers. How do you find them?”

With 450 million members in more than 200 countries – and with an additional 2 new members joining every second – LinkedIn boasts the biggest and most comprehensive database of the key players most entrepreneurs need access to.

And best of all, once you understand how to quickly search and scale 1-on-1 relationships inside LinkedIn, you can easily find, connect and engage with the key investors, partners and potential customers you need to grow your business.

Tools of the Trade

“LinkedIn is the most central tool for doing this,” Hoffman says. “It’s all about finding the right people associated with the right resources.”

Speaking of tools and resources, LinkedIn will be rolling more of both into the platform in the coming months after being purchased by Microsoft for $26.2 billion.

Expect to see new features like Skype-style video calls, deeper calendar, webinar, email and address book integration and other Microsoft-type features integrated into LinkedIn moving forward.

All the more reason to spend more time on the network, according to Hoffman.

“If you’re not heavily engaged with LinkedIn, your competitive advantage is so weak I would almost guarantee you are going to fail,” Hoffman says.

Sure, Hoffman is hardly an unbiased observer when it comes to using LinkedIn to grow your business.

But for busy entrepreneurs with limited time and resources online, it’s at least worth considering closely what he has to say about the network – and the opportunities it offers when used correctly.

[Source: Socialmediatoday]

The Game Preview of Happy Dungeons is now live on Xbox One

The special Game Preview of Happy Dungeons is now available to play for free on theXbox One. The Game Preview is a free version of the game for users to play while it’s in development. There are usually bugs and many aspects of the game’s engine and graphics will not be finalized yet but it is playable and is a good opportunity for gamersto get a sense of what the game is about.

Happy Dungeons is a multiplayer roleplaying game and supports up to four players at once in both online and offline modes. Players’ characters can have their looks customized with hair color, weapons, and clothing all interchangeable. Characters’ personalities can also be changed to create a more dynamic play experience.

Here’s the full game description: Cut loose in the dungeons with up to four friends in Happy Dungeons, the cooperative action RPG that’s just made for multiplayer gaming! So grab a pad and enjoy the witty, upbeat storyline that’s never short of a surprise, all set within a bizarre world overflowing with comical characters. Vibrant graphics combine with high-speed, stomach-churning action to give you an experience like nothing else! Customize your character to your heart’s content and go nuts in your own unique way! Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as you join forces with your friends and family to take out those dastardly villains! Are you ready to embrace the challenge with your own party of little lunatics?

 

Happy Dungeons updates daily with new Daily Dungeons events for players to work through. Other features such as Story Dungeons and Event Dungeons are also updated regularly and new content in the form of fresh items, skills, and character customizations are often added too.

 

[Source: Winbeta]

 

Turn-based RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic confirmed for Xbox One

A new video game called, Earthlock: Festival of Magic, has just been announced for theXbox One. The game is a 3D roleplaying game set in the magical world of Umbra. It features turn-based battles, item crafting, character customization, and skill trees to adjust a character’s progression in the game.

Here’s the official game description: Desert scavenger Amon finds himself in the adventure of his life when he crosses paths with a most peculiar creature back home in Zaber. Join Amon and other remarkable heroes in this turn-based fantasy RPG, on an unforgettable journey across the world of Umbra; a mysterious, beautiful but harsh planet that stopped spinning thousands of cycles ago.

Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a collaboration between Snowcastle Games and SOEDESCO Publishing and is set for release sometime in late 2016. Are you playing anything interesting on Xbox One right now? Let us know all about it in the comments below.

[Source: Winbeta]