Submitted by Fred Straker on
Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened on Monday at $96.16, and during the trading day Google's parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) briefly surpassed Apple as the most valuable company in the world. After Apple's earnings report hit, prices remained under $100. Alphabet also released a strong earnings report last week. Continuing the lackluster news for Apple, the company expects iPhone sales to decline year-over-year for the first time next quarter. Investors are concerned as the iPhone represents a majority of Apple's overall revenues. Both Alphabet and Apple are valued in the low to mid-$500 billion range.
As the week progressed, Apple stock surged on Thursday to hit its week-long high of $97.23. The gains were not held as AAPL slipped to its weekly low of $93.69 just before the Friday close. When the trading day ended, Apple shares stood at just $94.02. This means AAPL lost a total of $2.14 over the past five days, equivalent to a 2.23% drop. The losses were concurrent with a large selloff of tech stocks in general during Friday trading, with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and others losing value.
The company will distribute almost $2.9 billion to shareholders on February 11, which makes up a record quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share. Shareholders on record as of today are eligible to receive the dividend. While the dividend used to be roughly $3.29 per share, this was before the 7-to-1 stock split in 2014. Apple has been distributing dividends under its current program since summer of 2012.
Apple will also spend over $200 billion on its capital return program over the next five quarters, with $47 billion allocated to spend on buying back stock immediately. By taking shares off the market and retiring them, Apple can reduce the number of available shares and improve its earnings per share ratio. There are currently 5.5 billion outstanding shares of AAPL.Looking forward, price targets for Apple stock have been reduced since last week's earnings call. Still, numbers from prominent analysts range from $117 to $141. CEO Tim Cook tempered expectations, not only predicting a decline in iPhone sales but stating that total revenues at Apple may decline next quarter. Many analysts still rate AAPL as buy or outperform, despite the recent concerns. Nobody watching AAPL has used the word sell, as the company is expected to roll out several updates to its entire product line over the course of 2016.
Photo of Apple Campus 2 construction from Duncan Sinfield on YouTube.