Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock was up sharply on Wednesday, giving investors something to cheer about after long talks focusing on declining iPhone sales. MarketWatch says that Wednesday’s historic surge seems to back up what Warren Buffett may have believed a few months ago: the bottom has already been hit.
Buffett may already be reaping profits
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock gained 6.5% to close at a three-month high on Wednesday. The gain of $6.28 was also the second-biggest one-day rise (split-adjusted) in Apple’s history following its better-than-expected quarterly results. Apple’s biggest-ever gain is $7.10 (split-adjusted) on April 25, 2012.
In May, Buffett revealed that his firm Berkshire Hathaway owned 9.8 million Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares as of the end of the first quarter. Assuming he still owns the same amount, he would have gained $61.6 million in just one day, MarketWatch says. The shares are still down 5.5% from the March 31 close, and the filing does not provide information on the price at which the shares were brought. However, there are good chances that Buffett is already earning profits from his investment.
In late April, Carl Icahn revealed that he sold his entire stake in Apple during the first quarter. As of December 31, he had 45.8 million shares.
Worst is over for Apple (AAPL)
The stock closed down more than 20% on Aug. 21, 2015 after hitting a record close of $133 on Feb. 23, 2015, and then many chart watchers labeled it as a bear market. Since then, the stock has remained in that phase, though there were gains in November 2015 and February that were just short of the 20% bull market threshold.
Now several analysts believe that the worst is over for the iPhone maker. Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt went bullish on the stock for the first time since it peaked about 17 months ago. McCourt finally upgraded the stock to Outperform after maintaining his Market Perform rating since April 10, 2015.
“The big picture is that iPhone sell through has sustained somewhat better than we had forecasted,” writes McCourt, “and therefore we expect y/y declines more moderated over the next two quarters before a return to growth in March.”
Also Vivek Arya of Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes the upbeat outlook from Texas Instruments “reflects the trough in iPhone sales.”
Still need to cross the bull threshold
Recently, the stock has traded between $92.39 and $110.42, and 79% of the time — 48 of the 61 days – it has closed below current prices. According to FactSet data, the average of the volume-weighted average closing prices during the period was $99.59. From the May 12 low of $90.34, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock has jumped about 14%. To start a new bull market, it will have to close at or above $108.41, the report says.
According to FactSet, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has around 5.48 billion shares outstanding, suggesting an addition of about $34.4 billion to Apple’s market capitalization because of Wednesday’s gain. The S&P 500 has about 372 companies with about 72% having total market caps less than $34.4 billion.
At 9:43 a.m. Eastern, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were up 0.39% at $103.35. Year to date, the stock is down almost 4%, while in the last year, it is down more than 16%.