According to a Reuters report, Wall Street is regaining an appetite for Apple’s stock, as investors are betting that the release of a 10th-anniversary iPhone this year, will boost shrinking sales of Apple’s flagship device. The stock is up 36% from lows in May of last year, when it was plagued by worries about iPhone sales, which fell in 2016 for the first time. The shares are now down 8% from a record high close in February 2015.
The largest component of the S&P 500, Apple remained a core holding of Wall Street throughout a decline in the stock in the first half of last year. But a recent rebound and speculation about an expected new phone have kindled additional investor interest. Apple’s 15-percent rally since mid-November pushed the stock to levels not seen in more than a year and boosted over 100 mutual funds that became shareholders in recent quarters.
The gains have come even as Apple struggles with slow global demand for smartphones, made worse by consumers in key growth regions like China and India preferring Android devices selling for under $200.
Talking about this year’s iPhone launch, Brian Hennessey, portfolio manager of the Alpine Dynamic Dividend Fund, whose largest holding is Apple, said “We think this is going to be a pretty solid launch, a really big one”. He added that Apple’s upcoming iPhone is going to be pretty interesting and “hard to ignore”.
According to Morningstar, the number of mutual funds reporting they became Apple shareholders in recent quarterly filings has jumped by 188% to 288, while the number of mutual funds liquidating their Apple holdings dropped by 25% to 154.
Apple will be reporting its fiscal first-quarter results (Q1 2017) at 2:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, January 31.