Analysts predict that sales of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s flagship iPhones may decline in 2016. The Cupertino company doesn’t have large streams of recurring, high-margin revenues to offset a slowdown in iPhone sales. With more than $200 billion in cash, will chief executive Tim Cook go shopping? The iPhone maker doesn’t have a history of big-ticket acquisitions. But Cook surprised the industry by acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion, the biggest deal in the company’s history.
Box and Adobe could give Apple’s enterprise efforts a big boost
ClearPath Capital Partners chief investment officer Brendan Connaughton told MarketWatch, “Now they are looking for growth in a broader sense.” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives believes Tim Cook is “starting to get to a point where cash is an overhang.” If Apple does go shopping, which companies would be on its list? Mad Money host Jim Cramer has his own list of companies he would buy if here were the CEO of Apple.
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But Apple may prefer to go for strategic acquisitions instead of following Cramer’s recommendations. The tech giant has been pushing aggressively into the enterprise sector by signing a deal with IBM and launching the iPad Pro. As the company focuses more on the enterprise, it may buy Adobe and Box, says Daniel Ives of FBR Capital Markets. Box would enable the company to ramp up its iCloud platform into the enterprise market.
On the other hand, Adobe’s Creative Suite of software products, analytics services, and other enterprise-focused offerings could give a big boost to Apple’s enterprise effort.
GoPro and Tesla are well-established brands
Another potential acquisition target could be GoPro, which offers action cameras to adventure enthusiasts, and is currently building a media empire. Ives said in a research note to investors that GoPro’s action cameras are “uniquely positioned at the intersection” of Apple’s smartphone, wearable, and multimedia offerings. The Cupertino company may sell GoPro’s action cameras and future drones at its retail stores.
Apple has been building an electric car, which is unlikely to arrive before 2020. But Tesla has already built a world-class electric car, and a strong brand on its own. The Wall Street has been pushing Apple to buy Tesla for over a year, but Elon Musk may not be inclined to sell it. Even though Musk oversees three companies – Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity – he doesn’t run Tesla like someone who would want to sell it.