Apple Snags Beats for $3 BN, Twitter Jumps 11%, Michael Kors Wins Again

Check out the big Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR  ) headlines, as the Dow (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  wobbled down 42 points on a slow Wednesday.

1. Apple finally buys Beats for $3 billion
It's official... you can hang up those headphones. Confirming the rumors that circulated just a few weeks ago like a bad high school clique secret, Apple announced Wednesday afternoon that it's dropping $3 billion ($2.6 billion in cash -- which Apple has plenty of -- and $400 million in stock), for Beats Electronics to help its game in the subscription music space.

So what are the key details? Apple is keeping the Beats brand separate (so promoter Dr. Dre can keep doing his thang). Plus, Apple will offer a combo of both Beats music streaming capabilities and Beats hardware, i.e. the headphones.

The takeaway is that this ain't your dad's Apple. Under Steve Jobs, Apple didn't make huge purchases -- this is their biggest ever -- and didn't buy notable brands (Dr. Dre is in every Beats commercial). Plus, competition from Pandora and Spotify has been creeping up on Apple's iTunes store, which helped prompt the deal. Now, investors are hoping for info on what new products the companies will release.

2. Twitter rebounds 11% after finally getting buy recommendation
#buy@$43 was the message from Nomura investment bank on Wednesday. It issued a stock report on short message company Twitter (NYSE: TWTR  ) , setting a target share price of $43, much higher than yesterday's $31, and telling investors to buy the stock.

When the stock was at $70, investors thought Twitter would become as ubiquitous as Facebook. But the last quarterly earnings report showed slowing growth, and convinced investors it will never be mainstream, according to Nomura's report. But that's ok. Twitter can grow as a niche player, catering to celebrities, self-promoters, marketers, and journalists. And, of cours,e the Internet world that wants to know what's trending.

The takeaway is that the stock has dropped more than 50% this year as reports revealed slower user growth than expected. The punishment was too severe (#Banequote). Nomura's buy rating prompted the stock to rise 11% Wednesday, to almost $34. Twitter shareholders were thankful for the vote of confidence/backhanded compliment from @Nomura.

3. Michael Kors first-quarter performance was hot
You can put a ribbon on that fancy lookin' earnings report dropped on Wall Street by Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS  )  on Wednesday. The women's bag designer, with a big enough gold logo to satisfy a '90s rapper, announced that revenue rose 53.6% from the same period last year to reach $917.5 million -- that's well over the $816 million that analysts were expecting.

What's driving Mike? It's no longer just the teenage girls in the Greater New York suburbs region -- It's Michael Kors' "global footprint" that's boosting sales. With 101 new store openings worldwide since the end of 2013, North American sales grew just more than 20%, while European sales surged nearly 63%, as if the company was giving away Nutella crepes with each handbag.

The takeaway is that this has all been bad news for one competitor in particular: Coach (NYSE: COH  ) . The old school designer announced last month that same-store sales dropped 20% in the first quarter, a sign that ladies are going for the younger, hotter Michael Kors alternatives when it comes to accessories. And while shares of Mike are up 19% so far this year, Coach's have sunk an ugly 27%.

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com

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