Apple (AAPL) - Get Report jumped after an analyst predicted the iconic computer maker would announce a dividend increase and hefty buyback. Yahoo! (YHOO) climbed higher as reports surfaced it is scheduled to meet with its activist shareholder next week. Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report edged higher following survey results that showed more people are watching its streaming video.
Apple is expected to increase its quarterly dividend and buyback offerings, beyond the level it has done over the past two years, a Piper Jaffray analyst predicted.
The iconic computer maker is expected to offer a 5% to 10% dividend, based on the rate it has risen over the past two years, according to an Apple Insiderreport. The analyst is also anticipating Apple to add approximately $30 billion to $50 billion for its share buyback program.
Those two events generally cheer investors, so it's no surprise that Apple's share reacted. The stock closed up 1.5% to end the day at $103.01.
Yahoo! advanced on reports the embattled Internet pioneer will be holding a meeting next week with activist shareholder Starboard Value, which has been pushing the company to sell its core operations and get a new CEO, according to a New York Postreport.
Starboard will be holding its first meeting with Yahoo!, according the Post. The move comes after Starboard has repeatedly threatened to launch a proxy fight to remove Yahoo!'s board of directors and replace them with candidates of its own choosing. The deadline for Starboard to launch a proxy fight is by March 26.
Starboard is calling for Yahoo! to get a new CEO and sell its core assets. The activist investor previously expressed frustration that Yahoo! seemed to show disinterest in entertaining buyout offers, but recently Yahoo! hired investment bankers to field such requests. According to the Post, Yahoo! has received nearly "40 expressions of interest" from interested parties.
Yahoo! closed at $33.86, up 3%.
Netflix jumped after RBC Capital Markets released its survey results on the growth in the number of people who are watching its streaming videos.
The survey found 53% of the more than 1,000 U.S. users queried by RBC Capital watch Netflix movies and TV shows, up a couple percentage points from the 51% in November.
And according to the survey, 70% of Netflix subscribers were "extremely" or "very satisfied" with the service, up from 69% in November.
For Netflix, that data bodes well for the company, which faces steep competition from Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube and Amazon.com's (AMZN) - Get Report Prime service. The survey found 46% of survey participants used YouTube and 27% Amazon's Prime.
Netflix rose 3.7% to close at $101.58.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.