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Canaccord Genuity on Apple, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble

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Apple posts mixed fourth quarter results, Microsoft introduces the biggest overhaul of its Windows software in two decades, and P&G reports profits that topped analysts' estimates.

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The following are excerpts from Canaccord Genuity analysts' commentaries.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): Crab…

Apple, after the close, posted mixed fourth quarter results, with revenue coming in slightly ahead of expectations while earnings missed the mark. Q4 EPS came in at $8.67 on revenue of $36 billion. The company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, 58% more than the prior year, and 14 million iPads, a 26% increase. Sixty percent of sales came from international sources while gross margins contracted slightly to 40.0%. Looking ahead, management forecast Q1 earnings at about $11.75 per share of revenue of $52 billion versus the consensus of $15.43 on $55.02 billion.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): Is 8 enough?

Mr. Softie, on Thursday, introduced the biggest overhaul of its flagship Windows software in two decades, reflecting the rising stakes in its competition with Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for the loyalty of customers who are shunning personal computers and flocking to mobile devices. "This is the biggest product we've ever done," CEO Steve Ballmer told Bloomberg, comparing it with the arrival of the PC in 1981 and the introduction of Windows 95. Microsoft packed the new operating system with touchscreen capabilities, designed to vault the company into the tablet market dominated by Apple's iPad.

To avoid being left behind as computing increasingly shifts to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, the company radically altered Windows' familiar design and scrapped a strategy that had it relying entirely on partners to produce Windows computers. More than 1,000 computers have been certified for Windows 8, including the first Windows machines capable of running on chips with technology from ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) instead of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG): America's next top diaper maker.

The world's largest consumer-products maker late Wednesday reported fiscal first-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates as it slowed market-share losses and reduced manufacturing costs. Net income in the three months ended September 30 slid 6.9% to $0.96 a share, on a US stronger dollar and costs related to restructuring, but its results beat Wall Street expectations in a sign that a turnaround plan that it started in the spring is beginning to work.

Management said it's working to introduce new products to regain market share and reduce costs amid pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman. P&G said it held or gained market share in categories representing more than 45% of sales in the quarter, up from 30% in the fourth quarter. Management has come under fire from Ackman, who took a $1.8-billion stake in P&G in July and has pushed to replace CEO Bob McDonald, who is working to spur innovation after P&G's creation of breakout products slowed.

Once known for inventing new categories such as home tooth-whitening kits that could command premium prices, the maker of Pampers diapers and Crest toothpaste is centralizing some product development and focusing on categories such as beauty. P&G plans to boost marketing to support a "very strong slate of innovation" later this year, CFO Jon Moeller told analysts yesterday.

Editor's note: For more information on Canaccord Genuity, click here.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
Canaccord Financial and its affiliated companies may have a Corporate Finance or other relationship with the companies mentioned and may trade in any of the Designated  Investments mentioned herein either for their own account or the accounts of their customers, in good faith and in the normal course of market making. The authors have not received, and will not receive, compensation that is directly based upon or linked to one or more specific Corporate Finance activities, or to coverage herein.
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