AWT News Update: May 5, 2017

TGIF! We have a few stories for you on today's podcast, including a very good close of the week for shares of AAPL, some mergers and acquisitions that could be appropriate for Apple, and some malware that's affecting a few Mac users:

  • Apple closes at $148.96 per share, and is trading above $149 in after-hours trading
  • A Citigroup analyst has seven ideas for interesting strategic mergers and acquisitions for Apple
  • The "Snake" malware that has bugged Windows users for some time is now causing some issues for Mac users, although Apple has shut down the certificate for the installer
  • Apple has raised $7 billion in a bond sale 

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 5th, 2017.

Shares in Apple closed at an all-time high today. The stock closed out Friday with shares trading at 148.96, and in after-hours trading it was above $149 per share.

Citi suggested that Apple look at making some acquisitions with its big cache of cash. Jim Suva, an analyst for Citigroup, listed seven companies he felt would be prime targets for buyouts based on strategic fit, global scale, transaction size, few non-strategic assets and likely impact on Apple’s share price. The list? Tesla - valued at $48 billion, Walt Disney at $176 billion, Activision Blizzard at $42 billion, Electronic Arts at $30 billion, Hulu at $25 billion, Netflix at $68 billion, and Take Two Interactive at just $7 billion. Would Apple buy them all? Probably not. But if the company gets a repatriation tax cut and can bring home money held overseas at just a 10% tax rate, Apple could probably buy all those companies. Suva believes that the most likely targets would be Netflix, with a 40% chance of happening, and Disney with a 20% probability.

For a long time, one piece of malware has been causing problems for Windows users. It’s called various names, like “Snake”, “Turla” and “Uroboros”, and sadly, it’s now affecting Mac users. Malwarebytes said that the code comes disguised as an Adobe Flash Player installer inside a Zip file labeled “Install Adobe Flash Player.app.zip”. Apple has already shut down the certificate for this installer, but if you have set Gatekeeper on your Mac to allow unsigned apps to be installed, the installer will next ask for your administrator password like the real Flash installer does. Oddly enough, this fake Flash installer actually installs Flash on the device, which makes it quite devious. Once the malware is installed on a Mac, it opens up a backdoor to their system that exposes passwords and unencrypted files. Don’t accept Adobe Flash Player installers from anyone except Adobe, or just don’t install Flash player on your Mac.

Apple has launched a new bond sale. The company has raised $7 billion in a six-part sale with due dates ranging out to 2027. The bond offerings are often used to buy back shares of Apple stock and to pay dividends.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.