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APPLE INC.

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U.S. trade regulators approve some Apple tariff exemptions amid broader reprieve

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09/20/2019 | 09:42pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: Logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich

(Reuters) - U.S. trade regulators on Friday approved 10 out of 15 requests for tariff exemptions filed by Apple Inc amid a broader reprieve on levies on computer parts, according to a public docket published by the U.S. Trade Representative and a Federal Register notice.

The move by U.S. officials could make it easier for both Apple and small makers of gaming computers to assemble devices in the United States by lowering the costs of importing parts.

Apple did not say why it requested the exemptions, but the requests were for components such as partially completed circuit boards. Apple manufactures its Mac Pro computers in Texas, making the machine immune from tariffs, but such intermediate parts were subject to the levies.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Mac Pro computer starts at $6,000 and is intended for users such as music and motion picture studios. Due to its specialized design, the device has never sold in large numbers. But it became a political flashpoint earlier this year when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was moving production to China.

Apple never publicly commented on its exact production plans, but U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods complicated the assembly of PCs in the United States. The third list of U.S. tariffs that went into effect last year placed levies on both some fully assembled PCs as well as the major components to make them, meaning manufacturers faced cost increases even if they made machines in the United States.

The tariffs also hit the PC gaming industry, where enthusiasts often assemble their own custom machines from parts, many from China.

Apple applied for the exemptions for some components but President Donald Trump said U.S. regulators would not grant them. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook later said during the company's July 30 earnings call that Apple wanted to keep making Mac Pros in the United States.

"We want to continue to be here," he told analysts on the call, adding that Apple was investing in capacity to do so.

On Friday, trade officials lifted tariffs on a range of computer components for Apple and all other manufacturers, including partially assembled main circuit boards and graphics cards. Those are critical to computer assemblers because they contain chips from Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Those chips are typically some of the most expensive parts in the machines.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Daniel Wallis)

By Stephen Nellis

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES 4.83% 29.75 Delayed Quote.61.10%
APPLE INC. 2.66% 236.21 Delayed Quote.45.87%
INTEL CORPORATION 1.92% 52.09 Delayed Quote.11.00%
NVIDIA CORPORATION 1.62% 185.99 Delayed Quote.39.32%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 259 B
EBIT 2019 63 372 M
Net income 2019 54 253 M
Finance 2019 102 B
Yield 2019 1,27%
P/E ratio 2019 20,2x
P/E ratio 2020 18,6x
EV / Sales2019 3,72x
EV / Sales2020 3,61x
Capitalization 1 067 B
Chart APPLE INC.
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Technical analysis trends APPLE INC.
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 45
Average target price 227,17  $
Last Close Price 236,21  $
Spread / Highest target 14,3%
Spread / Average Target -3,83%
Spread / Lowest Target -36,5%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Timothy Donald Cook Chief Executive Officer & Director
Arthur D. Levinson Chairman
Jeffrey E. Williams Chief Operating Officer
Luca Maestri Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Kevin M. Lynch Vice President-Technology
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FITBIT, INC.-26.16%948