Better-than-predicted results, and shifts from other tech stocks, lifts AAPL toward $600

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Investors seem to have taken heed of analyst ratings in response to the higher-than-predicted earnings Apple reported last week, the share price climbing from $524.75 before the company released its financials to approaching $600 at the time of writing.

Fortune suggests Apple’s results isn’t the only factor at play, with investors perhaps also following Greenlight Capital’s lead in moving out of other tech stock with particularly high price to earnings ratios – the measure of how a share price relates to its earnings. The higher the P/E ratio, the more over-valued it looks according to traditional measures …  Read more

Wall Street vs AAPL in nine bar-charts

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The disconnect between Apple’s corporate performance and its stock value is something we’ve often commented on in the past. But rarely has the gap between the two been made more visually obvious than in a set of nine bar-charts published by Fortune, comparing Apple with Amazon and Google.

Judging from Merckel’s bar charts, what the market seems to be saying is that it believes Google and Amazon will keep growing indefinitely.

For Apple, it will believe it when it sees the next hit product.

The three ones above give the starkest illustration, while the complete set below give a fuller picture …  Read more

Tim Cook’s revised stock deal cost him $4M this year

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

ComputerWorld noted that Apple’s SEC filing on Friday revealed that Tim Cook lost out on $4M worth of stock as a result of his request to the board in August to revise his compensation arrangements to a deal he felt was fairer to shareholders.

Earlier this year Apple’s board revised Cook’s vesting schedule at his urging. Rather than the two monster stock handouts — which only relied on his continued employment — Cook asked that they be spread out over a 10-year period and tied to the company’s stock performance …  Read more

Institutional money and Icahn shenanigans have AAPL headed back to 52-week highs

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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 …  Read more

AAPL stock skyrockets toward 500 in pre-market trading following 9M iPhone sales and high-end guidance

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AAPL quickly climbed 6 percent in pre-market trading following Apple’s announcement that it had sold a record 9M iphones in the first weekend, beating most analyst expectations. The last time it hit $500 was six weeks ago, when Carl Icahn announced his increased stake in the company, believed to be in excess of $1.5B.

Analyst forecasts for sales of the new iPhones had ranged wildly from 5M to 10M, but 9M was at the high end of what most were expecting and substantially above the more pessimistic forecasts. Four major financial firms had seemed unimpressed by the announcement on 10th September, downgrading the stock.

Apple’s SEC filing advised investors that it expects to hit the high-end of its earlier Q4 guidance …  Read more

Apple’s accelerated AAPL stock repurchasing suggests it expects the stock price to climb

Photo: huffpost.com

Photo: huffpost.com

Fortune reports that Apple’s stock repurchase scheme – buying back some of its own shares – is proceeding more than three times faster than scheduled.

The company was scheduled to repurchase 10 million shares in Q3. It bought 36 million [...] By my calculation, the company spent $16 billion last quarter ($4 billion in cash, $12 billion through the so-called accelerated share repurchase program) to purchase 36 million of its own shares at an average price of just over $444.

If Fortune‘s numbers are correct, then Apple has already spent almost all of the $17B it borrowed back in April. Accelerating the planned repurchase program makes sense if you expect the stock to cost less now than it will later. In other words, if you’re expecting the stock price to climb …  Read more