Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Apple hits new high on fall products, but iWatch might slip

Apple.cmsApple stock hit an all-time high on Wednesday, two years after its previous peak.

Apple stock was up a fraction, near 100.80, in midday trading in the stock market today. It peaked so far Wednesday at 100.86. Apple's previous record high was 100.72, on a split-adjusted basis, in September 2012.

Investors are enthusiastic about Apple's upcoming product cycle, which is expected to include the larger-screen iPhone 6, new iPads and the iWatch smartwatch-fitness band.

On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty published a bullish note on Apple that encouraged investors to buy shares ahead of Apple's fall product releases. She said the stock is attractive because of its relatively low institutional ownership, increased cash return program, stronger and broader management team, increased acquisitions and R&D, stabilizing profit margins and higher contribution from services.

But analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said Apple's much-anticipated iWatch could be delayed until next year because of difficulties in manufacturing the wearable device, according the Financial Times. The iWatch needs many special components and a new manufacturing method, Kuo said.

On the other hand, in a research note on component supplier Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (NYSE:ASX), Bernstein Research analyst Mark Li said his supply chain checks indicate that Apple will produce 5 million to 10 million iWatch units this year. He said ASE will make components for the iWatch and iPhone 6, according to Barron's.

Apple stock stumbled after the release of the iPhone 5 on concerns that the company was lacking innovation following the death of co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Apple stock touched a 32-month low of 55.02 in April 2013, before its latest climb.


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