Tags: Apple | Stock | Shares | Barrons

Apple Hits Record High After Barron's Predicts 10 Percent Surge

Image: Apple Hits Record High After Barron's Predicts 10 Percent Surge
(Getty/Mario Tama)

Monday, 20 Mar 2017 11:47 AM

Apple Inc.'s stock price rose nearly 1 percent Monday, hitting a new record-high of $141.34, lifting the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index to yet another intraday high.

The iPhone-maker's stock could rise another 10 percent in six months, Barron's wrote in an article.

“As high-margin services grow, Apple could earn a higher valuation and its shares could hit $155 on the new iPhone,” Barron’s reported.

“While rumors swirl around Apple’s planned devices, the company’s high-margin services revenue probably will continue to race quietly higher. As we wrote a year ago, services are a key to smoothing out Apple’s earnings swings and garnering its shares a handsomer valuation,” Barron’s said.

“So far, the stock’s rally has hinged on two factors. The first is that Apple traded at just 12 times earnings at the time of our latest story, a 35% discount to the broad market, and a valuation befitting a troubled concern. That’s not including cash and investments, worth $38 a share at the time. Second, a string of quarterly reports showed that the company isn’t troubled,” Barron’s reported.

Meanwhile, one of the most admired investing gurus of our time also recently touted Apple.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC last month that his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had more than doubled its stake in Apple Inc. since the end of 2016, making it one of Berkshire's biggest equity holdings.

"Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product and an enormously useful product to people that use it, not that I do," said Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

He said Berkshire's Apple stake, currently at about 133 million shares, was worth about $18 billion based on Friday's closing price and amounted to Berkshire's second-biggest holding.

At the end of Dec. 31, Berkshire had held 61.2 million shares for a total of $6.75 billion, according to regulatory filings, Reuters reported.

Buffett said his ambitious move into Apple shares was piggybacking on the initial investment made by Buffett's deputy investment managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had done a "terrific job," Buffett said, but added he had not bought shares since the company's earnings report.

For his part, Cook expressed support for globalization and said China should continue to open its economy to foreign firms, while speaking at a forum in Beijing on Saturday.

"I think it's important that China continues to open itself and widens the door if you will," said Cook, speaking at the government-sponsored China Development Forum.

Cook's comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, with protectionist rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump sparking concern of increased trade friction between the two countries, Reuters reported.

"The reality is countries that are closed, that isolate themselves, it's not good for their people," said Cook, in a rare public speech.

Apple said on Friday it will set up two new research and development centers in Shanghai and Suzhou in China.

It has pledged to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan ($508 million) in research and development in China.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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As high-margin services grow, Apple could earn a higher valuation. And shares could hit $155 on a new iPhone.
Apple, Stock, Shares, Barrons
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2017-47-20
Monday, 20 Mar 2017 11:47 AM
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