NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple (AAPL) are declining 0.79% to $126.87 in Friday's afternoon trading session after the company was criticized by independent record label Beggars Group for refusing to agree to pay artists royalties during its Apple Music trial period, MarketWatch reports.
Beggars Group represents popular artists like Adele, Alabama Shakes, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, and The Strokes.
Earlier this month, Apple introduced its streaming service, Apple Music, and planned to offer consumers a three-month trial in hopes it would attract them to its $9.99 monthly service.
But Beggars Group is concerned, stating that small labels "can't afford to agree to such terms when a number of artists are set to release new albums during the first three months of the launch--slated for June 30th," MarketWatch added.
While Apple has been a "wonderful partner," the record label is struggling to see why owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple's customer acquisition costs, MarketWatch said.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 40.36% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.00% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AAPL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- APPLE INC has improved earnings per share by 40.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, APPLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $6.43 versus $5.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.97 versus $6.43).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Computers & Peripherals industry average. The net income increased by 32.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10,223.00 million to $13,569.00 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 33.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report