Apple shares hit new high on tablet excitement

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:04pm EST

Shoppers make their way past the Apple Store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, October 22, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress

Shoppers make their way past the Apple Store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, October 22, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc shares reached their all-time high on Thursday as excitement builds over the expected release of its tablet computer.

Although Apple has never acknowledged that a device exists, anticipation is peaking as the company enters the new year.

Option traders exchanged about 275,000 contracts in Apple, above its average daily turnover, as calls outpaced puts by nearly two to one, according to option analytics firm Trade Alert

"Investors are excited about an anticipated release of an Apple tablet," said William Lefkowitz, options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York.

"People are expecting this to be a product that would allow Apple to continue its tremendous growth. In addition, Apple stock hit a new high today and looks very strong on a technical basis," he said.

On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported on its blog that the company has rented a stage at a venue in San Francisco and will make a "major product announcement" on January 26.

The report, which cited people familiar with the plans, did not say whether Apple would introduce the tablet at the event. Apple has declined to comment.

The tablet could be a touch-screen device that resembles a larger iPhone or iPod touch, and could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, analysts have said.

There is a 50 percent chance that Apple will announce the tablet in January, with a shipping date by the end of March, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a research note on Wednesday.

The tablet could be released in late March or April, Oppenheimer & Co analyst Yair Reiner said earlier this month.

Although most analysts have not included the tablet in their financial estimates, many expect it to be significant for Apple, complementing its portfolio of iPhones, Mac computers and iPods.

Reiner said the device could add 25 cents to 38 cents to Apple's earnings per share.

The median price target on Apple is $242.50, roughly 16 percent higher than its closing share price on Thursday.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple rose as high as $209.35, passing their previous all-time high of $208.71, before closing up 3.4 percent at $209.04 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway in San Francisco and Doris Frankel in Chicago; Editing by Derek Caney and Robert MacMillan)

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Comments (14)
Laturb wrote:
Assured by an employee recently that whatever is coming (def NOT a tablet) it will be groundbreaking.

Dec 24, 2009 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
samiup wrote:
Apple is a company that makes profit out of hype, premature anticipation, gossip, trying to prove that the competition is worst and rumors that never end.

they have nothing to offer besides that.
the PC market is saturated with all kind of products, there are PCs which are twice as expensive as Macs and PCs which are two time cheaper than a Mac, PCs which are twice the performance of a Mac and others which are way underpowered and under priced.

Apple is selling an image, a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of fanciness and superiority, nothing more. and for such business model, marketing and premature hype are the first key to success. the second key is the existence of a large number of technologically illiterates who can be auto activated via TV commercials, such audience only exists in north america where many people are actually naive enough to change/ make up opinions based on TV adds, and that’s why Apple never had any success outside of North america even with its most flashy products.

i grew tired of Apples propaganda and from such articles who encourage and help them doing so.

Dec 24, 2009 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
msidoric wrote:
Poor Sami. He’s probably a Dell investor who didn’t see the end was near…

Apple by contrast is driven by innovation and excellence in design, execution, and service — repeatedly taking top or near top honors in all.

Envy and derision by others doesn’t lessen their accomplishments.

Dec 24, 2009 2:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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