Apple stock price reclaims $600 mark

After declines in 10 of 11 trading days, the tech giant's shares surge 9% after earnings.

By InvestorPlace Apr 25, 2012 12:14PM

By Jeff Reeves


For a while there, some folks were wondering whether Apple (AAPL) had lost its mojo. After all, it had given up ground in 10 of the past 11 trading days leading up to Tuesday's quarterly earnings report.


But with a 9% pop in share prices Wednesday morning, the darling of tech stock investors has proved it's back in the saddle. Strong earnings and a surge in AAPL shares have made many investors believers in Apple once more.


AAPL slumped from about $636 on April 9 to as low as $555 in midday trading Tuesday. Now shares are once more above $610 -- still down from previous highs but making up ground fast.


Oh, and despite the decline from its peak, it must be noted that Apple is up more than 50% since Jan. 1 and has a five-year return of more than 570%.


Apple earnings are the biggest catalyst behind the recent pop in shares. Profits of $11.6 billion almost doubled last year's performance, and they crushed Wall Street estimates. Revenue was up almost 60%.


But earnings alone can't explain how the tech icon got its swagger back. Investors have to be looking to the future in addition to last quarter's successes to bid up shares this much this quickly.


Maybe it's optimism over Apple's paying a dividend to the tune of $2.65 quarterly, starting in July, for a yield of about 1.7%.


Maybe it's the fact that the recent earnings report showed breakneck growth in China, buoying hope for emerging-market sales in the months and years ahead.


Maybe it's just general optimism for the economy and the broader markets. After all, a lot of tech stocks have been soaring so far in 2012 -- tech player Microsoft (MSFT) is up more than 23% since Jan. 1, while IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC) and Oracle (ORCL) all are up by double digits year to date. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


Many things are at play for Apple right now, but one thing is sure: Investors who saw the April rollback in AAPL stock as a buying opportunity have been served very well by the recent pop.


Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com, and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at editor@investorplace​​.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own a position in any of the investments named here.


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