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Less than a week after AAPL stock reached a new high for 2013, and two analysts raised their target price in response to Black Friday sales, the stock has also hit a 52-week high, running at $570 at the point of writing.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn doubtless played a role, yesterday tweeting that he would be calling for a (non-binding) shareholder vote on an increased buyback program – though for a smaller amount than he had originally urged.

But Fortune yesterday posted a rather interesting chart that may suggest the upward trend will continue … 

investor

What the chart shows is that the recovery so far has been driven mostly by private investors: the institutional investors who made a run for it when the stock price fell haven’t yet returned. UBS’s Steven Milunovich expects this to change.

Our sense speaking with investors is that many are now equal or underweight Apple relative to their benchmark, which could result in new money supporting the stock.

If he’s correct, the medium-term trend is likely to continue in an upward direction. As ever, however, remember that the market is driven by sentiment, not by facts …

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4 Responses to “Institutional money and Icahn shenanigans have AAPL headed back to 52-week highs”

  1. Gregg Mojica says:

    Reblogged this on Apple Rumors and commented:
    This information should sit well with Apple Investors.

  2. ghost2103 says:

    As an investment banker this was a tough read. Market is driven by facts, multiples and market benchmarks and not sentiment. Also, share price includes cash, if AAPL ever decides to do a dividend the price will drop since since net debt increases while TEV stays the same.

    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      If it were true that markets were driven by fact rather than sentiment, we wouldn’t see the roller-coaster ride AAPL has taken – the facts didn’t change much between the top and bottom prices …

  3. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    I haven’t noticed the institutional ownership going up as reported by Google Finance. The ownership percentage hasn’t budged for months. Apple really needs to do something to make the stock more attractive to pension funds and such. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for Apple to do that while many other tech companies draw institutional investors like flies.