AAPL Closes at 52-Week High – Moving Towards All-Time Record High

Posted by at 10:10 am on August 20, 2014

Apple’s stock closed on Tuesday with a new 52-week high, and at one point in the day threatened to top its all-time highest stock price (based on straight split-adjustment). It officially closed at $100.53, not far from its all-time split-adjusted high of $100.72, though it hit $100.68 in intra-day trading. The company’s valuation also rose to a market cap of $602 billion.

While it is not unusual for AAPL to rise in advance of probable iPhone and iPad announcements, a strong endorsement of why investors — particularly institutional investors — should get in on the stock from analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley may have helped send shares soaring, gaining $1.37 on the day following a rise on Monday that was similar in its percentage.

Huberty outlined some eight reasons why AAPL is an opportunity stock at the moment — including pointing out that institutional investors, who once fled the stock, are likely to come back given that institutional holdings are well below the company’s S&P weighting of 3.4 percent. She also mentioned that the gross margin, at around 40 percent, has been stable for some time in contradiction to the rest of the industry. The strong increase in R&D spending has also been a historical indicator of future profits.

Other factors Huberty mentioned included the infusion of new VP hires and other talent coming into the company through acquisitions. Though analysts have been fixated on the Beats deal as it was the most expensive, she notes that Apple has made 29 other known acquisitions since the introduction of the iPhone 5 in 2012. The aggressive stock buyback program has also increased the company’s yield — to the point that if stock dilution and stock retirement factors are taken into account, AAPL will actually need to reach $110 per share to truly top the previous all-time record.

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