Apple earnings arrive with trillion-dollar value near

The iPhone maker is expected to extend its string of solid earnings and revenue growth with its latest quarterly report card. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Updated 31 July 2018
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Apple earnings arrive with trillion-dollar value near

  • The market is eager for news about demand for iPhones and how the company is riding out US-China trade turbulence
  • Apple earnings are likely to be solid, with the average price of iPhones sold rising as buyers opt for the top-end iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple will release quarterly earnings figures Tuesday as it flirts with a history-making, trillion-dollar market value based on its share price.
To hit the trillion-dollar mark, Apple shares would have to climb about seven percent from the $189.91 price logged at the close of official trading Monday on the Nasdaq.
The market is eager for news about demand for iPhones and how the company is riding out trade turbulence between the US and China.
President Donald Trump’s trade wars include 25 percent US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, with more on the way, and steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, which provoked China and others to hit back with import duties on US goods.
The Silicon Valley-based company is expected to unveil new iPhone models in the fall, sticking with its practice of releasing upgraded models annually ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season.
Sales of iPhones in the quarter could be tame since many fans have historically either bought handsets in prior months or are holding out for new models on the near horizon.
Apple earnings are likely to be solid, with the average price of iPhones sold rising as buyers opt for the top-end iPhone X.
Billions of dollars that Apple has been spending to buy back shares could help propel the company past a trillion-dollar value mark in the stock market.
Early this year, Apple announced it would buy back $100 billion in shares.
Apple has managed to shine, despite bruises to its image that included being accused of keeping young people addicted to smartphones, slowing performance of older iPhones to motivate upgrades and sidestepping taxes by nestling cash in offshore havens.
The market will be watching to see whether a battery replacement program and software changes to improve performance of older iPhones are costing the company.
Apple has battled with the US government over making iPhones so secure even police can’t peek at data, and prides itself on not making money off people’s personal information the way ad-targeting companies such as Facebook do.
Apple has hammered away at the growing amount of money it takes in from music, applications, games, subscriptions and services it sells to people using its devices.
Money made from services is seen as an important element of diversification away from having to rely heavily on selling iPhones.
A 31 percent rise in services to $9.2 billion in the first three months of this year followed big jumps in Apple Pay, Apple Music and other programs.


SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

Updated 25 September 2018
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SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

  • The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25
  • SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale

LONDON: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is preparing to offer its dollar-denominated unsecured bond to the global market with investor meetings due to start this week.
The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25, according to a filing on the Saudi stock exchange on Tuesday.
The Saudi company is likely to be keen to tap into the heightened international interest in the Kingdom’s financial markets following the lifting of some restrictions on foreign investors’ activities at the start of the year.
SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale, alongside HSBC Bank, Mitsubishi UFG Securities EMEA and Standard Chartered Bank acting as joint lead managers, in its Tadawul note.
The proposed issuance has been well-received so far by analysts with ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service assigning an ‘A1’ rating to the proposed senior unsecured notes to be issued by the financial vehicle, referred to as SABIC Capital II, and guaranteed by SABIC itself.
“SABIC’s A1 rating reflects its strong business position in the chemical sector and its ability to weather industry volatility, particularly given its healthy operational cash flows and conservative liquidity profile,” said Rehan Akbar, a senior analyst at Moody’s, in a note on Monday.

 

The bond is anticipated to be used in part to refinance an existing SR11.3 billion ($3 billion) one-year bridge loan raised in January this year to fund the company’s 24.99 percent stake in the Swiss chemical company Clariant, according to the Moody’s note. All regulatory requirements were completed on this acquisition earlier this month.
Cash proceeds from the bond may also be used to repay a $1 billion bond due on Oct. 3, according to Moody’s.
On Tuesday SABIC confirmed that the bond will be used mainly to refinance “outstanding financial obligations” of the company and its subsidiaries.
Analysts at rating agency S&P Global were also upbeat about SABIC’s outlook, with research published on Monday stating that the company has “strong profitability” via its KSA operations and a “strong” liquidity position.
“The debt issuance is helpful for the credit profile in the sense that it extends the company’s debt maturity profile and strengthens its liquidity position,” said Tommy Trask, corporate and infrastructure credit analyst at S&P Global.
The agency currently assigns the petrochemical firm an ‘A Minus’ rating, with a “stable outlook,” which it said reflects its “view on the sovereign as well as its expectations that SABIC will maintain high profitability under current benign industry conditions.”
S&P Global’s report said margins in the global chemical industry will “largely stabilize in 2018 following several years of improvement, attributable to the increase in commodity chemical capacity.”
However, it also warned that a key risk to credit quality is
the trend for mergers and acquisitions within the sector and the “potential negative impact on credit metrics from funding them with debt.”

FACTOID

SABIC operates in more than 50 countries across the world.