Why Apple and Nuance are Rallying as Rambus Tumbles

Shares of tech stocks were active on Tuesday, with Apple, Nuance, and Rambus experiencing notable moves.

Jul 22, 2014 at 3:30PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) had risen more than 66 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) were moving higher alongside the market, while shares of Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) tumbled.

Apple said to prepare for massive iPhone demand
Although Apple shares rose only a modest 0.3% by late morning, the stock was among the most actively traded.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is tapping its suppliers for what could be its largest iPhone release ever. Apple is reportedly asking for enough displays to produce 70 million-80 million new iPhones by the end of the year. The new models are said to come in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch varieties.

If those figures are accurate, the company expects the iPhone 6 to sell far better than its immediate predecessor -- Apple's initial order for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c was between 50 million and 60 million units. 

Expectations are running high for Apple's next iPhone, with a string of analysts recently upgrading the stock on projections for a strong fall debut. With such lofty projections, anything other than a record quarter may hurt Apple shareholders. Investors should get further insight into how Apple sees the rest of the year playing out when it reports earnings later today.


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Nuance releases new Dragon software
Shares of Nuance rose 0.6% on Tuesday after the company announced the release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13. Like Nuance's previous Dragon releases, the program gives PC users voice-to-text capabilities, allowing them to dictate rather than type. Nuance claims that Dragon 13 is the most advanced version of the software yet.

The software, which retails for $99-$199 (depending on the version), could give Nuance a boost should it prove popular. But investors are likely interested in Nuance's mobile ambitions rather than its PC-focused products.

Nuance's technology has long been rumored to power Apple's digital personal assistant, Siri. In recent months, Apple has purportedly been poaching Nuance's employees to improve Siri internally, while Apple's chief smartphone rival, Samsung, has been said to be considering a bid for the company. The release of Dragon 13 doesn't directly affect any of that, but it does reaffirm Nuance's place in the speech recognition software market.

Rambus tumbles on guidance
Shares of technology licensing company Rambus fell 5% early on Tuesday following the company's earnings report. Although Rambus' second-quarter results exceeded analysts' expectations (a diluted earnings-per-share figure of $0.16 blew away a $0.05 estimate), investors were likely reacting to disappointing guidance.

In the third quarter, Rambus' management expects revenue to come in between $68 million and $73 million. Prior to the earnings report, analysts had projected third-quarter revenue of just a bit more than $73 million.

During its earnings call, Rambus' management hinted at a forthcoming deal with a large memory partner that could bring in significant revenue in 2016. However, when pressed, the company refused to offer specific details.

While the sell-off seems justified in the context of disappointing revenue guidance, investors may be overreacting. Despite the third-quarter guidance, management left its full-year revenue outlook unchanged, suggesting that some of the revenue expected in the current period could be pushed out into the end of the year. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
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Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Nuance Communications. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Nuance Communications. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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