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Sun Life hit by withdrawal from market

Axa Sun Life&#39s decision to withdraw from the life and pensions market due to what it saw as unsustainable price competition is responsible for the 1998 profits dip, according to analysts.


Insurance analyst Ned Cazalet says: &#34Sun Life withdrew as it felt the pricing had gone mad due to the pressure of competition, especially in pensions. It didn&#39t want to write unprofitable business as it has a discipline for profitability.


&#34Looking ahead to 1999 when strength and security become more important Sun Life will do very well. It is a big player. And big companies may end up squeezing out smaller ones.&#34

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Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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