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Why Apple (AAPL) Stock Set Record Closing Price Today

Stocks in this article: AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple  (AAPL) set a new record closing price of $100.56 on Tuesday to beat its previous high of $100.30 in Sept. 2012.

Apple hit a closing high of $702.10 in Sept. 2012, which is the equivalent of $100.30 after accounting for the 7-for-1 stock split the company completed in June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The tech giant narrowly missed its intraday high of $100.72 on Sept. 21, 2012 with an intraday high of $100.68 on Tuesday. The intraday high was $705.07 on Sept. 21, 2012, which is the equivalent of $100.72 in today's split-adjusted terms.

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The stock rose thanks in part to Morgan Stanley, which advised investors to add to their positions in the stock ahead of the release of the iPhone 6 and the long-rumored iWatch. 

RBC Capital forecast Monday that Apple would sell 10 million iPhone 6 units in its first weekend. This would mark a company record, as the previous iPhone version sold 9 million units in its first weekend last year. The firm increased its end-of-year iPhone 6 sales estimates to a high of 75 million from a previous estimate of 56 million units.

Apple also received a patent Tuesday that could remove a roadblock to the iWatch. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published 48 newly-granted Apple patents, one of which is for a curved touch screen display that would likely be used for a smartwatch, a fitness band or another wearable product. No current Apple products use such a display.

Apple filed patent 8,808,483 in the fourth quarter of 2010.
 
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26 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 1.18, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 44.56% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.69% is above that of the industry average.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 36.91% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AAPL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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