SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Apple (AAPL.O) Inc. rallied more than 9 percent Friday, as investors saw a newly attractive valuation in the battered stock and anticipated new laptop computers.
Apple, which also makes iPod music players and iPhone communications devices, has scheduled a Tuesday event at which it is expected to unveil a line of lower-cost notebooks. The company is scheduled to release its quarterly results the following Tuesday.
With the economy likely facing a drastic slowdown in consumer spending, Apple's shares had dropped more than 40 percent in the last month.
But Yair Reiner, an analyst with Oppenheimer, said that with the Apple's stock trading at less than half the price of a year ago, the shares look attractive on valuation alone.
"Growth is just a bonus," Reiner said.
Other analysts agree. "Given the recent sell-off in technology stocks, Apple's stock offers a valuation entry point not seen in years," Bank of America analyst Scott Craig wrote in a note on Wednesday.
With the hype that typically accompanies an Apple product launch, investors will be watching next week to see if the company can maintain momentum.
Reiner said he thinks a line of less expensive computers could help the company ride out the turbulence of the coming months.
"One of the biggest fears about Apple is that it's going into a recession selling high-end electronics. I think that if it can broaden its product portfolio and include products that are competitive on the mid-end, it positions it to better weather the storm and appeal to a larger base of consumers."
Shares of Apple rose $8.06 to close at $96.80 on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Gary Hill)