“Today, I’m looking at technology giant Apple because in late February, short interest in the name more than doubled,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “Were investors really making a big bet against the company, or was this a sign of something else?”

“Not only did short interest in the name more than double in the second half of February, but it jumped to a level well above even the past 12 months’ highest amount,” Maurer writes. “One might think that some investor (or a group) came in and shorted a lot of shares during the second half of last month. That would be a really bearish bet, considering that the 57 million share increase would equal almost $10 billion dollars at the prices in the low $170s Apple traded at during that time. It also would have represented a substantial amount of daily trading volume, because in the second half of the month, only about 176 million shares were traded (Feb. 19 to 28), and… daily volume even a few days before and after that period never got above 30 million shares.”

“Was Apple’s short interest surge in late February a result of an accelerated share repurchase plan? Well, that seems to be the most logical explanation at this point, given the dollar value worth of shares needed for that increase was rather large. It will take until either the earnings report or next 10-Q filing to confirm this, but it wouldn’t be a surprise given the pullback in Apple shares during the past few months if management stepped and used some of its large cash pile,” Maurer writes. “If Apple did buyback a large amount of shares, that is obviously good for earnings per share, and it could mean good things for the potential dividend raise as well.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Large dividend increases for AAPL shareholders make us all warm and tingly inside! 🙂

20% would be a nice little raise for AAPL investors, especially those who rode the roller coaster of the last 6 months. — MacDailyNews, March 13, 2019

Apple: Large dividend raise coming? – March 13, 2019