Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) stayed in the doldrums last week, with prices remaining under $100. Since the last earnings report, investors have been concerned about iPhone sales. Shares opened Monday at $93.91 and peaked during Wednesday trading at $96.31 only to slide, bottoming out Thursday morning at $92.60. AAPL gained its footing on Friday, closing at $93.99, up eight cents per share over the week for virtually no change.
Record Apple dividend
Apple distributed a record dividend of $0.52 per share to shareholders last Wednesday, February 11. Apple has allocated $47 billion for a share repurchase in the short term, which should improve its price-earnings ratio. The company plans to spend over $200 billion on its capital return program over the next five quarters.
However, Apple expects a decline in year-over-year revenue next quarter, to the tune of 9-14 percent. Here's some other recent and upcoming news that may affect AAPL stock prices over the coming months.Apple releases on the horizon
March will bring a special media event on March 15 to announce the next generation iPad Air 3 and an updated 4-inch iPhone. If reports are true, Apple plans to launch both products immediately instead of offering a pre-order period, with the items hitting shelves on March 18.
Newest iPhone FAQs
Apple is also working on original programming, with a show titled "Vital Signs" rumored to be in production. The company is funding the project, which stars Dr. Dre in a semi-autobiographical role. The subject matter has been described as dark drama. In any case, the project puts Apple on track to compete with other content producers such as Netflix and Amazon.
New lawsuits against Apple
Immersion (NASDAQ:IMMR) saw its stock jump after announcing it would sue Apple regarding the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus and Apple Watch. The suit claims that Apple has infringed on Immersion's haptic feedback, which is a key feature of the 3D Touch and Force Touch interfaces. Immersion has successfully made licensing deals with other companies including Samsung and HTC.
A class-action lawsuit in California has been filed, alleging that "Error 53" represents a violation of the state's Unfair Competition Law and other statutes. The complaint comes as some iPhone owners have had Touch ID parts replaced by third-party vendors. After attempting to update these devices, the error message appears and the device is effectively bricked. Apple points to security concerns, with each iPhone being uniquely paired to its Touch ID sensor to prevent tampering or data theft.
Apple retail stores expanding
Apple looks forward to opening its first stores in India. While there are some legal hurdles, Apple should be on track for approval from the government to proceed. Once Apple retail stores are operating in India, this will be a new avenue to boost iPhone sales.
Similarly, Apple already has 28 stores in China and will increase this number to 40 by the middle of the year. Although the Chinese economy has been struggling lately, Apple is well positioned as the country's middle class continues to expand. China hopes to double per capita income by the year 2021.