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Apple Inc-Beats Rumoured Deal Generates Mixed Reactions from Analysts; AAPL Stock Maintains 'Buy' Rating

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By Reissa Su | May 15, 2014 11:40 AM EST

Apple Inc's rumoured $3.2 billion deal with Beats Electronics has analysts speculating about what it would mean for the Cupertino-based company's future products. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, reports have surfaced that Apple is wooing Beats to add to both of the companies' retail and streaming music services.

REUTERS
A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in downtown Shanghai September 10, 2013.

iTunes Radio, Apple's radio streaming service, may not be growing as Apple had hoped with strong competition from Pandora Media. Apple may be looking at its other options to generate growth in its streaming music service. If the rumour is true, Apple Inc will have access to Beats' popular streaming music service and increase its market with the premium headphones.

Analysts had mixed reactions on Apple's potential acquisition of Beats. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who still endorses a "Buy" rating for Apple stock, said the Apple-Beats deal is a "bad idea." Mr Munster said he was having difficulty seeing the rationale of the deal. He said although acquiring Beats will be giving Apple a "world class brand" in music, the tech giant already has a world class brand to begin with. The analyst believes Apple will not buy a company just for the brand's sake.

Munster said he was not aware of Beats possessing intellectual property that could be considered an asset to Apple. However, he believes co-founder Jimmy Lovine will be a big help to the company's overall content strategy.

According to Fortune, Brian White from Cantor Fitzgerald believes in Beats proprietary algorithms that offer customers suitable music to match their mood. White said they think this feature may be applied to movies and other media that Apple may provide. The analyst maintains a "Buy" rating on Apple stock with a price target of $777.

Steven Milunovich from UBS believes the rumoured Apple-Beats deal makes sense for a number of reasons. He said the purchase price is reasonable if Beats has a revenue of $1.4 billion at high margins. Apple may use Beats headphones and its team of designers for future wearable tech plans. Milunovich also believes Apple will acquire Beats to bring more growth to iTunes Radio. The analyst maintains a "Buy" rating with a price target of $625 on Apple stock. 

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(Photo: REUTERS / Aly Song)
A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in downtown Shanghai September 10, 2013.
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