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Trending: Apple Sees Weakening Demand analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.

Apple has taken the first position in the past fortnight, as 2023 started on a sour note, with the iPhone-maker reportedly ordering its suppliers to cut production due to falling demand. Second in the list is Enterprise Products Partners, which recently increased its dividend. Third in the list is carmaker Ford Motor, which has been in the news due to its plans to build a factory in Turkey together with LG. Last in the list is pharma company AbbVie, which might avoid an impending patent cliff.

Don’t forget to read our previous edition of trends here.

Apple Suppliers Asked to Lower Production

Apple (AAPL) has seen its traffic jump 31% in the past two weeks, the highest increase by far. Apple has been in the news after it reportedly asked its suppliers to decrease production of components for iPhones and other gadgets due to weakening demand.

The global economy has been slowing down as rising interest rates and energy prices have put a strain on household finances. Lower demand for products like new iPhones, MacBooks and AirPods is a consequence of that.

In addition to slowing demand, China’s chaotic management of the COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on production. Combined with deteriorating trade relationships with the U.S. and the rest of the developed world, this has forced Apple to start shifting its supply chains away from China, although that will take a time.

Despite the near-term challenges, Apple shares have outperformed the broader technology sector, as the company’s high profitability and product stickiness has convinced investors. Over the past 12 months, Apple shares have declined 24% versus 28% for Nasdaq.



Check out our latest Best Dividend Stocks Model Portfolio.

Enterprise Products Partners Raises Dividend

There are few companies today that can boast improving results and reward investors with ever-higher dividends. The energy industry is filled with such high performers and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is one of them. Enterprise Products, a natural gas and oil pipeline company, has seen its viewership advance 16% in the past two weeks, taking the first position in the list.

The company was in the news after it raised its quarterly dividend by 5.4%, or 49 cents per share. In addition, the company also repurchased around $120 million of its stock during the fourth quarter of 2022. The company still has to purchase around 63% of its $2 billion stock buyback program in the coming quarters. Shares in Enterprise Products Partners have been rising consistently over the past two years, but they are still below pre-pandemic levels.

Enterprise Products Partners’ dividend yields a strong 7.7%.



Ford Motor Drops Battery Venture with SK in Turkey

Ford Motor (F) has taken the third position in the list with a rise in viewership of 16%, same as Enterprise Products Partners.

Ford has generated interest after it dropped a joint venture with Korean company SK to build a plant for electric car batteries. The company reportedly now enlisted LG as a venture partner to build the factory, which is expected to have an annual capacity of between 30 and 45 gigawatt hours.

The move is part of Ford’s ambition to produce 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026. The carmaker sold more than 60,000 electric vehicles in 2022, more than double the previous year. Ford is also the biggest seller of electric vehicles after Tesla.

Ford Motor’s shares are down nearly 50% from their recent peak reached at the start of 2022. The company pays a dividend of 60 cents per share annually, resulting in a yield of 4.7%.



AbbVie Retains Momentum on Optimistic Outlook

AbbVie (ABBV) is last in the list, seeing its viewership climb 10%. AbbVie shares have been climbing over the past six months as the company’s guidance suggested it might avoid an impending patent cliff.

The company’s blockbuster cancer drug Humira will soon face competition from cheaper generics as its patent expires. However, the company recently said sales from new immunology therapies Skyrizi and Rinvoq will likely hit $17.5 billion in 2025, up from $15 billion previously. This is likely to offset falling sales from Humira, which is expected to reach peak sales of $21 billion in four years.

AbbVie shares are up 17% over the past 12 months, with the company’s dividend yielding another 3.7%.



The Bottom Line

Apple has asked its suppliers to reduce production of components that go into its products due to waning demand, although the stock’s prospects remain strong. Enterprise Products Partners has increased its dividend again. Ford Motor will build a battery factory in Turkey together with LG, dropping its previous partner SK. Finally, AbbVie appears to have avoided a patent cliff, as it increased guidance for sales of new drugs.

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