Apple (AAPL) Replaces $399 iPad 2 With Fourth-Generation iPad

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) discontinued the three-year-old iPad 2 Tuesday, replacing the $399 tablet with the fourth-generation iPad.

Shares of Apple were gaining 0.3% to $528.11.

The fourth-generation iPad, sometimes called the iPad 4, was first introduced in late 2012, and was the second iPad to offer a Retina display. The tablet uses an A6X processor that's much faster than the A5 chip found in the previous iPad 2. The fouth-generation iPad also offers better cameras than the iPad 2.

Apple now offers a 16GB Wi-Fi fourth generation iPad for $399. A 16GB model with LTE connectivity is also available for $529.

With the change all of Apple's iPad models no support the Lightning cable, phasing out the old 30-pin connector. The free-on-contract iPhone 4S is the only iOS device currently on sale that still uses the old port.

Apple also introduced an 8GB iPhone 5c for European markets Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC 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, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. 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 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13 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 1.23, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 41.65% 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 22.69% is above that of the industry average.
  • APPLE INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in 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 ($42.73 versus $39.63).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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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