Apple shares gain for a third straight session on Thursday, Russia’s FAS probing tech giant over suspected abuse of power

August 9, 2019 6:59 am

According to a statement by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service on Thursday, it has launched an investigation into whether Apple Inc (AAPL) abused its position of power in the country following a complaint from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

Apple shares closed higher for a third consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Thursday. The stock went up 1.82% ($3.62) to $202.66, after touching an intraday high at $203.51, or a price level not seen since August 2nd ($206.43).

Shares of Apple Inc have added 28.48% to their value so far in 2019 compared with a 17.20% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2018, Apple’s stock went down 6.79%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 6.24% loss.

According to FAS, the agency is probing why Apple’s operating system has declined a new version of Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Kids parental control application. This resulted in a considerable loss in functionality for the application, FAS said.

In response to the actions taken by Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog, the US tech company reminded that on April 28th it had disclosed the removal of several parental control applications from its App Store, since they “put users’ privacy and security at risk.”

Apple also noted that Mobile Device Management (MDM), or a technology that tends to be “highly invasive”, was being used by several of these applications, while the usage of such a technology in a consumer-focused app violated App Store policies.

The App Store guidelines permit a limited use of MDM tech, Kaspersky Lab said, but yet, it remains unclear how Apple’s permission to use such a technology can be obtained.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 36 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $226.67, with a high estimate of $270.00 and a low estimate of $150.00. The median estimate represents an 11.85% upside compared to the closing price of $202.66 on August 8th.

The same media also reported that at least 19 out of 40 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 15 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 4 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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