Apple and Facebook Shine After Hours

The blue chips fell slightly, but strong performances by Apple and Facebook make a win likely tomorrow.

Apr 23, 2014 at 10:00PM

Stocks finally hit a down day today after six straight gains for the broad market as earnings season rolled on and the housing market hit a bump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) closed off 13 points or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.8%.

The census bureau reported March new home sales falling 14.5% from February's total to a seasonally adjusted rate of 384,000, an eight-month low that badly missed estimates at 455,000. The slowing sales seem to be a reflection of higher mortgage rates and other factors as the slide was unrelated to the severe winter weather much of the country experienced. The low figure pushed inventory from a five-month supply to six-month one, and was 14% below last March's total.  In another negative sign, mortgage applications also fell 3.3% last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.


Source: Fool Flickr.

After hours, some big tech names were making headlines as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares jumped 8% following its earnings release. Not only did the iPhone-maker beat estimates on top and bottom lines, but it also said it would expand its share buyback program and enact a 7-to-1 stock split. iPhone sales totaled 43.7 million in the quarter, well ahead of analyst expectations of 38 million, driving a 4.5% revenue increase to $45.6 million and a per-share profit of $11.62. Those numbers breezed past Wall Street estimates of $43.5 million and $10.18, respectively, as the addition of carriers in China and Japan, including China Mobile, helped boost sales of its trademark smartphone. Apple also said it would expand its share buyback program from $100 billion to $130 billion by the end of 2015, and would split its stock, making it more affordable for individual investors and eligible for a spot in the Dow. Concerns about Apple's recent lack of innovation remain, but for now, the company has silenced critics and bought itself some time.

Fellow tech titan Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was also heading higher after hours, up 3.6% as it posted 72% revenue growth to $2.5 billion on strong mobile growth, better than estimates $2.36 billion. Profits also nearly tripled to $0.34 per share, well ahead of expectations at $0.24. Membership continued to grow as daily active users increased 21% to 802 million and monthly active users improved 15% to 1.28 billion. Mobile usage growth, meanwhiel was even stronger. The results confirm that Facebook has mastered the mobile ad game after initial struggles following its IPO. Touching on the company's recent acquisitions, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company "made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We're in great position to continue making progress toward our mission." I'd expect the social network to continue its strong growth as Facebook advertising becomes more and more of an integral part of the way many companies do business, and it develops its recent acquisitions.

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Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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