Thursday, August 9, 2018

A $lice of Apple

"Apple’s tax break yields $102b boon for shareholders" by Michael Liedtke Associated Press  May 01, 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apple’s tax break on its overseas profits is turning into a $102 billion boon for shareholders.

Apple also will spend $100 billion more buying back its stock, a move that will enrich shareholders by helping to drive up the company’s stock price. It also reduces the number of shares trading, which increases earnings per share — a key yardstick for measuring a company’s outlay.

Nothing like driving that wealth divide into a yawning chasm while providing the illusion of a healthy economy!

Tuesday’s announcement marks the first time that Apple has provided a glimpse into how much its shareholders will benefit from a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code championed by President Trump and approved by Congress late last year.

None one is complaining about that (except for outlier Democrats).

A provision in the package temporarily lowered the taxes that companies pay when they bring cash stashed overseas back to the United States. That rate was cut to 15.5 percent, far below the 35 percent that would have been imposed before.

No company benefited more from the tax break on overseas cash than Apple, which had accumulated more than $250 billion outside the United States during the past decade, thanks to the immense popularity of the iPhone and other products.

Just $at on it, huh?

Apple CEO Tim Cook had made it clear all that money would be left overseas if the tax on foreign profits wasn’t cut. Now, the Cupertino, Calif., company is bringing most of the money home in a move that will generate a $38 billion tax bill for Apple and a windfall for shareholders.

Looks like extortion to me.

Lawmakers have been hoping Apple and other companies would use the overseas cash to create more jobs in the United States and spend more on other projects that will help accelerate economic growth.

Apple previously promised to hire 20,000 more workers during the next five years, including some at a planned new campus in a still-to-be-identified US city outside California.

The company plans to spend $10 billion opening and expanding data centers in the United States and another $20 billion on other long-term projects, but it’s unclear how much of that Apple would have spent anyway.

It’s also difficult to quantify how much of the repatriated money is being funneled to shareholders. Apple already has been raising its dividend and spending on buybacks every year since 2012; it’s not known how much of the new increase would have happened regardless of the tax break, but investors have been counting on Apple to give shareholders much of the money coming in from overseas, especially after the company said it intended to eventually have little or no excess cash, after accounting for outstanding debt. That pledge implies Apple has $163 billion to spend, in addition to the roughly $60 billion in cash flow that now accumulates annually from its ongoing sales.

Wall Street’s belief that Apple will pass along most of its cash to shareholders has helped bolster its stock, even though its latest iPhones haven’t spurred as much sales growth as most investors hoped. The new phones include the $1,000 iPhone X, which Apple has touted as the best since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007.

IPhone sales once again disappointed Wall Street in Apple’s latest quarter. The company shipped 52.2 million iPhones during the first three months of the year, up by just 3 percent from 2017. Boosted by the expensive iPhone X, Apple fetched an average of $728 per iPhone in this year’s quarter, an 11 percent gain from last year’s average of $655.

That helped the company earn nearly $14 billion in its fiscal second quarter, a 25 percent increase from a year ago. Revenue climbed 16 percent to $61 billion.

In recent weeks, Apple’s stock has backed off from its all-time high of $183.50 because of concerns about iPhone X demand, though expectations of a dividend increase and stock buyback have offset the decline.

The stock is currently trading at nearly $170, giving the company a value of about $840 billion. Apple could become the first US company to ever be valued at $1 trillion.



Apple becomes first-ever company valued at $1 trillion

Amazon will have to $ettle for $econd:

"Amazon and its billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, have a long history of thwarting unionization efforts in the United States. Bloomberg reported that Bezos is now the richest person in modern history. His net worth broke $150 billion in New York on Monday morning, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and’s quarterly profits hit a record $2.5 billion, the technology giant announced Thursday, as it races to become the world’s first trillion dollar company.

Those folks in Seattle really ‘‘stood up to Amazon and Jeff Bezos’s bullying,’’ huh?

Related: Mass. will spend $20 million to bring Amazon to the Seaport

Isn't that appea$ement?

"On Nantucket, wealthy residents oppose housing for seasonal employees" by David Abel Globe Staff  May 16, 2018

NANTUCKET — Beside the ninth hole of the Miacomet Golf Course, there’s a large paved lot with a sprawling mechanic’s garage and equipment depot, big tanks of diesel fuel, industrial-sized trash bins, and scores of lawn mowers and other vehicles. There’s also a pile of old furniture from last year when the nearby clubhouse burned down.

Few if any of those potential eyesores have provoked complaints from neighbors, whose views of the lot are almost entirely shielded by a row of cedar trees and other evergreens.

Then, about a year ago, the Nantucket Land Bank, a public agency that owns the golf course, proposed building a dormitory on the lot for its seasonal employees who help keep the club running. Land Bank officials said the dorm is needed to address the island’s housing crisis, which has made it so hard to find affordable apartments that some workers have been sleeping on basement floors or in old shipping containers.

At least someone is sticking up for them.

While the town’s Board of Selectmen and many others on Nantucket have supported the project, a few neighbors were aghast. Most vocal in opposition has been David Long, the CEO of Liberty Mutual.

That's such a shame because of the way there new TV ads end

You know, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty.

I gue$$ he does hold a grudge when it comes to golf.

Long, whose $2.3 million home is secluded behind hedgerows and a gate, hired Bob Popeo, the chairman of Mintz Levin, one of Boston’s most prominent law firms, and began lobbying state environmental officials to block the dorm from being built.

In one of several letters sent over the past year to Matthew Beaton, the state’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, Popeo insisted that any state approval of the dorm would set “a bad precedent. The construction . . . is entirely at odds with ‘the interest of conservation, and the Land Bank’s essential purpose of preserving land in its natural state for enjoyment by the general public. The project bears no relationship to the Land Bank’s mission or its expertise.”

The Land Bank was established by the Legislature in 1983 to acquire and preserve the island’s valuable undeveloped land. In the past, the state has generally approved the commissioners’ projects swiftly, including the expansion of the golf course from nine to 18 holes and the construction of a 16-acre ballfield complex elsewhere on the island, Land Bank officials said.

Indeed, the commissioners were so confident that the dormitory — a one-story, 3,900-square-foot structure that would house up to 22 people — would be approved that they had plans drawn up for it, but a year later, after spending $50,000 in legal expenses to respond to Long, the Land Bank’s plans to house its summer workers are now in doubt.

“It’s crazy what’s happening,” said Eric Savetsky, executive director of the Land Bank. “There are absolutely no environmental impacts.”

He and the agency’s commissioners, as well as others throughout Nantucket, accuse Long of using his wealth and influence to manipulate the system. They say the executive, who last year earned $20 million and famously spent $4.5 million to renovate his 1,335-square-foot office at Liberty Mutual, is paying high-priced lawyers to employ a host of technical arguments that veil his true concerns.

“This is a classic NIMBY situation,” said Neil Paterson, one of the Land Bank’s five elected commissioners and the agency’s chairman.....

Just a bunch of hot air.


You are going to have to cancel the golf game anyway due to the ferry.