The last earnings report released by Apple (AAPL) was the first miss since the iPhone launched nearly six years ago. (Steve Jobs announced the iPhone launch at Mac World in January 2007.) Since that time, Apple shares have risen a meteoric 630%.
The recent earnings miss was partially due to subdued global demand resulting from fears emanating from the European debt crisis. The stock selloff, however, was exaggerated by investors’ disappointment in the absence of announcements about new product launches.
I think that the time is near for Apple to make not one, but two, meaningful new products launch announcements: The iPad Mini, and the iPhone 5.
According to the “Apple Monitor” compiled by Topeka Capital Markets, Apple has had its best July on record. The data indicates that Apple’s supply chain has been recording record sales numbers. Investors should know that Apple generally releases a product when it has an inventory of 10 million units. Right now, Apple’s manufacturers are thought to be producing around 50,000 to 80,000 units per day. I believe something big is coming – maybe two things.
Today marks the ex-dividend date for Apple, which is set to pay a $2.65 per share dividend on August 16.
This should also give Apple shares a boost. There are countless money managers who run dividend-based investment strategies who cannot wait (and in some cases, have to — by index mandate) to buy Apple stock. A 1.7% dividend may not seem like much, but it’s enough in this low interest rate environment to tickle investors’ fancies. And if rumors of a stock split are accurate, the offer becomes more attractive to individual investors as well.
Lastly, shares should rise as Apple continues to surprise investors with record-beating revenue growth. In a stagnating economy that produces little GDP growth, equity shares can only rise when revenues rise and the growth rate of revenues increases. Apple has demonstrated a nearly unstoppable momentum. With the new product launches on the horizon, and increased market penetration in Asia and other emerging markets, I expect to see more revenue growth over the coming quarters.
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