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Ben Bienvenu of Stephens Inc. asks about US merchandise gross profit. $CST said it is pleased with the gross profit improvement in US and Canada and this is mainly due to the shift towards the New-to-Industry stores and the larger store formats. Pricing and mix shift also led to the improvement. $CST will focus on GM and sales going forward.
Apple ($AAPL) reported decline in sales and profits from comparable quarter last year, attributing the decline to announcement of iPhone 7/7s. Sales and profit are being guided higher for next quarter. Apple is a solid company and will continue to dominate tech and consumer electronics segment for a while. Personally, looks like there is little downside in this investment.
Waiting with fingers crossed for $AAPL’s fourth quarter earnings.
Looking ahead to $AAPL earnings release later in the afternoon today? Gene Munster, analyst from Piper Jaffrey and the most respected authority for Apple, had this to say - "The second and slightly larger group of investors believe the tail of the iPhone 7 is irrelevant, and is betting that the iPhone 10th Anniversary will yield a jump in growth from flat to up ~15%."