Apple Shares Skyrocket 10%, Pushing Up Overall US Markets

 @DavidZie
on April 25 2012 9:02 AM
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Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, skyrocketed 10 percent Wednesday on forecasts of further record-breaking earnings, before the markets opened

By the close, Apple reached $610, up $49.72, or 8.9 percent, after hitting $617 earlier. The shares had fallen 14 percent from their April 9 record high of $644 on fears that the Cupertino, Calif., giant might report an earnings shortfall.

The surge influenced overall U.S. markets Wednesday. The Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 Indexes all rose, with the Nasdaq itself up more than 2 percent at 3030. Apple is a member of Nasdaq and the S&P 500.

Apple reported that its second-quarter net income nearly doubled to $11.6 billion, or $12.30 a share, as revenue leaped 59 percent to $39.2 billion. Both amounts were records for the 36-year-old company, originally founded as Apple Computer.

Analysts lauded the performance of CEO Timothy Cook, especially his reliance on new markets in China and the other so-called BRICS countries  -- Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa -- and raised earnings estimates.

At Jefferies, Peter Misek reiterated a price target of $800 and urged clients to buy the shares ahead of whatever product Apple introduces to succeed the best-selling iPhone 4S later this year. Management didn't provide a timetable.

At Topeka Capital Markets, analyst Brian White, who previously set a $1,001 price target for Apple, repeated the forecast and hailed the company's second-quarter results, especially those for iPhone sales, as they blew through our 29.4 million forecast.

Apple reported sales of 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter.

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