Update (4:34 p.m. EST): Updated with closing price, day high and low prices, price change and volume information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) fell 2.45% to $540.67, down $13.58 from its previous close of $554.25, at the close of the trading day on Friday, the first day that customers in China could start to buy iPhones through China Mobile.
The stock had a volume of 13,412,681, slightly above its average of 11,419,200. It hit a high of $552.07 and a low of $539.90 for the day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a special surprise appearance at the opening of a store in Beijing to mark the occasion. Journalist Jahangir Naina posted a series of photos on Flickr to document the iPhone introduction, which shows crowds of customers at China Mobile stores lining up for the product.
The upfront cost of China Mobile's 24-month iPhone 5S contract is $906, according to The Wall Street Journal, which also reports that China Telecom and China Unicom (both of which are smaller by subscriber base) both offer cheaper prices.
Cook indicated Wednesday that the company plans to strengthen its ties with China Mobile in order to grow in the world's largest smartphone market by shipments. The deal, which took six years of negotiations, finally allows Apple to offer its iPhones through all three of the China's state-run carriers.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Apple as a "buy" with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- AAPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.40, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $9,908.00 million or 8.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, APPLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.76%.
- 41.78% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of AAPL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AAPL's net profit margin of 20.04% compares favorably to the industry average.
- APPLE INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, APPLE INC reported lower earnings of $39.63 versus $44.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($43.71 versus $39.63).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report