Stocks To Watch: Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) & Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook takes steps to protect share price
Investor and employee concerns about Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) plummeting share price has resulted in the company resorting to confidence building measures. For one, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in a regulatory filing that he will not sell his stock for a year. He has also mentioned that Marc Andreessen and Donald Graham, both directors in the company, also do not plan to sell their holding except to the extent necessary to meet their tax liabilities.

Also, when the company issues previously restricted stock to its employees in October, it plans to buy back the 101 million shares. That would mean the social networking company will spend around $1.9 million in cash for the purchase. Facebook is thus taking steps to protect its share price thereby reducing the stock available in the market.

With the release of 271 million shares into the market in August on share lockup expiries, the Menlo Park, California based company’s stock has been badly battered and is now trading lower than half the price at which it was listed.

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Shares of FB jumped 4.80% to $18.58 on Wednesday.

Analysts up Apple stock targets

Meanwhile, Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) official announcement of its event on September 12, where it is expected to launch the iPhone 5 has resulted in upgrade of the Apple stock by analysts. For instance, Mark Moskowitz, analyst at JP Morgan has raised the price target of Apple Inc’s shares from $675 to $770. He has also upped earnings per share estimates for fiscal year September 2012 from $43.37 to $44.07. For Financial Year 2013, he expects an EPS of $52.27, higher than the earlier estimate of $46.56.

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He also expects higher iPhone and iPad sales. For FY 2013, iPhone sales are expected to touch 167.9 million units, higher than the initial estimate of 147.4 million and in the case of iPads, 91.2 million units, up from the earlier estimate of 79.1 million.
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