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Apple stock rises to record amid optimism about new products

BusinessComputer HardwareApple Inc.Apple iPhoneTim CookSteve JobsSamsung Group

Apple Inc.'s stock closed at an all-time high, surpassing a 2012 record as investors look ahead to new products such as bigger-screen iPhones and a wristwatch-like device that may jump-start revenue growth.

Apple rose 1.4% to $100.53, topping the split-adjusted record of $100.30 reached Sept. 19, 2012, just before the iPhone 5 went on sale. The shares have gained 25% this year.

After rising more than sevenfold following the 2007 debut of its smartphone, Apple stock lost a third of its value in the year after the iPhone 5's release on concerns that the company was running out of hit product ideas without co-founder Steve Jobs. The tenor has changed, with analysts estimating record sales for the next batch of iPhones, set to be released later this year.

Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had pushed Apple to buy back more of its own stock earlier this year, said the rise in the company's share price validated his earlier claim that the iPhone maker was undervalued.

"All my chips still on the table and in fact increased position over past year," Icahn said in a Twitter post. Icahn owns 52.8 million shares in Apple worth $5.3 billion, according to a recent filing.

In June, people familiar with the plans said Apple planned to start mass production on two smartphones with larger screens, a response to devices from rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp.

The stock's rise shows investors are buying into the strategy outlined by Chief Executive Tim Cook, who has been prodded to introduce bigger iPhones, give more money back to stockholders and introduce new devices.

Those shareholders are now getting what they want. In addition to the larger iPhones, Cook has vowed that Apple will enter a new product category this year. The company is said to be developing a smartwatch.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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