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Optimism Sends Apple Stock to All-Time High

March 23, 2000|Bloomberg News

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) shares zoomed 17% to a record in the last two days on optimism for demand, especially for its highest-priced and most profitable PowerMac personal computers.

Apple gained $9.25 to $144.19 on Wednesday after a 10% jump the day before. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's stock has surged 40% this year.

Though there has been no major news from the company, there is speculation that demand is rising and Apple is seeing robust sales of the 500-megahertz PowerMac G4 computers introduced last month, analysts said. Apple last week said it would start selling its products through Tech Data Corp. (TECD), its third U.S. distributor, indicating increasing demand for its products.

"They wouldn't put up another distributor if there wasn't demand," said analyst Lou Mazzucchelli of Gerard Klauer Mattison, who rates the stock a "buy." Apple had cut Tech Data as a distributor of its machines in the U.S. more than two years ago.

Apple has made strides in turning around what some thought was a dying business just a few years ago. Co-founder Steve Jobs is back as chief executive, sales are rising, and market share is growing.

Analysts are speculating that Apple may soon split its stock, a move usually perceived as bullish. Apple last split its shares in 1987.

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