“Apple’s shares managed to defy the sharp market downturn on Friday, logging a small advance by midday and drawing nearer to the $500 milestone,” MarketWatch reports.
“The shares have now risen about 18% since the company reported blow-out earnings results on Jan. 24. Much of the gains have come from higher estimates for Apple’s two key products – the iPhone and iPad,” MarketWatch reports. “The iPhone alone now accounts for more than half the company’s total revenue base, and the device still has highly limited distribution in China, a major global market. With the iPhone 5 expected in late-summer, and a new iPad predicted by the March-April timeframe, analysts see a strong year ahead for the company.”
MarketWatch reports, “However, another factor that could be adding to investor enthusiasm is the possibility that the company may reverse its long-standing avoidance of paying a dividend. Apple’s cash hoard is now close to $100 billion, and more investors and analysts are looking to the company to consider returning at least some of that to shareholders.”
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