Apple Re-Opens For Business in China

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As much of the world shuts down amid the coronavirus pandemic, Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report is re-opening all of its retail stores in China - a small sign of a return to normalcy in an otherwise abnormal world.

Apple on Friday reopened all of its 42 retail stores in China as restrictions limiting movement and activity of both people and businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic slowly continue to abate there.

The stores, which had been shuttered since early February amid the coronavirus outbreak, are fully open and operational, a company spokesperson confirmed to both Bloomberg and Reuters on Friday.

Analysts and investors were already predicting a slowdown in Apple’s earnings resulting from store closings, as well as from the impact on the company's China-dependent supply chain, which is still not operating at full capacity.

Still, the company received an upgrade to overweight from neutral on Friday by analysts at Wells Fargo, who see the tech giant as a good valuation proposition – even amid the uncertainty about the effects of the coronavirus.

Indeed, analyst Aaron Rakers sees supply-chain improvement from important partners like Foxconn, which last week reported that it was resuming ramping its labor capacity more quickly than expected.

The firm affirmed its $315 price target on the Cupertino, Calif., company while stating that over the next 12 to 24 months, Apple will drive earnings per share back to the $15 range while sustaining $40 billion or more in free cash flow.

Shares of Apple were up 4.48% at $259.36 in trading in New York on Friday. The stock ended the day Thursday down 9.88% at $248.23.