Qualcomm's Downgrade, Cray's Deal, and Apple Rumors Keep Tech Fresh

Find out more about why Qualcomm, Cray, and Apple kept tech fresh this week.

Ashraf Eassa
Ashraf Eassa
Jul 12, 2014 at 11:30AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) moved down 125 points for the week after briefly pushing past the 17,000 mark in the holiday shortened trading week that came before. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) pushed the Dow lower, while Cray (NASDAQ:CRAY) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) edged higher.

Qualcomm catches a downgrade
Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which are up 7.21% for the year -- outpacing the Nasdaq and Dow Jones, which are up 5.71% and 2.20% in that time, respectively -- caught a downgrade from Goldman Sachs, which has generally been extremely bullish on the stock. The reason it was removed from Goldman's "Conviction Buy" appears to be that the catalysts that led the Goldman team to upgrade the stock have played out and a good deal of the upside has been achieved. The firm still rates the shares a "buy."

The stock closed down 1.7% for the week, underperforming the Dow Jones.

Cray scores a big supercomputer deal
Cray, which is well known for its high-performance computing systems such as supercomputers, popped Thursday on the news that it had scored a $174 million supercomputer deal with the U.S. National Nuclear Safety Administration.

This is a multi-phase, multi-year deal that includes both products and services. According to Cray, system acceptances as a part of this deal should occur both in late 2015 and in 2016.

Shares of Cray had reached as high as $31.85 following the deal, though the stock closed out the week at $29.85, up just under 1.6% as the stock had been weak earlier in the week.

Apple rumors and an upgrade
Apple is ever-interesting, and KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo had some insights to share about the rumored upcoming iWatch. In particular, he claims that mass production won't begin until mid- to late November. This pushback, according to Kuo, is due to engineering challenges.

Further, Kuo had some additional details to offer up about the iWatch, claiming that the device will feature a flexible AMOLED display and sapphire cover glass, be waterproof, and feature new system-on-a-chip components. It will certainly be interesting to see what the Apple team comes up with.

Separately, Canaccord Genuity's Mike Walkley has upped his price target to $112, up from a prior $102, driven by increased iPhone sales forecasts for both the current fiscal year and the following. In addition to unit volumes driven by the iPhone 6 rollout, Walkley believes that Apple should see a significant average selling price tailwind to the tune of a $51-per-unit increase.

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If Apple can drive higher volumes and higher average selling prices, then it's not hard to see Apple growing earnings significantly, justifying a meaningfully higher share price in the future. Apple shares were up 1.26% for the week, outpacing the Dow and the Nasdaq.