“Apple may have more growth ahead of it than Wall Street fears, and that prospect could give the shares another nice lift,” Andrew Bary writes for Barron’s.

“Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi lifted his price target to $615 from $575, citing an aggressive share-repurchase program that should help earnings and provide ‘a potential backstop to a pullback in the shares,'” Bary writes. “Indeed, the financial story at Apple is underappreciated. After years of sitting on a growing mountain of cash, Apple has become an aggressive buyer of its stock while also initiating, and then raising, its dividend, which now provides a yield of 2.3%. Under CEO Tim Cook, the company bought back $18 billion of stock in the March quarter and has shrunk its share count by 7% over the past year, to 880 million shares.”

“With an expansion in its buyback program to $90 billion from $60 billion, Apple probably will buy back at least $44 billion of stock before the end of calendar 2015, or about $6 billion per quarter,” Bary writes. “The repurchases could boost earnings per share by about 6% in the current fiscal year ending in September and 5% in the following year, Sacconaghi estimates.”

Read more in the full article here.

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