iPhone inventories fell month over month to just under four days from five days in January, according to Pacific Crest Securities.
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SAN FRANCISCO — Apple shares hit new heights Monday amid reports it was about to unveil its first hardware product announcement of the year.
The prospect of new iPads as early as this week sent Apple’s stock (AAPL) up 1% to $141.46 per share.
“Any new device launch bumps the stock,” says Angelo Zino, an analyst at CFRA Research who expects a new batch of iPads.
Apple did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on new products.
But there is more to Apple’s stock ascent than shiny new tablets, Zino and other financial analysts point out. The stock has been benefiting from a strong holiday quarter and by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s increased stake. The investor’s Berkshire Hathaway quadrupled its investment in Apple to 57 million shares in the fourth quarter, according to a securities filing last month. Then, after Jan. 1, Berkshire bought 120 million Apple shares.
Buffett’s big bet foreshadows what Zino and others expect to be a mega-selling new iPhone later this year.
“It will be a socko product” if Apple finds a way to take advantage of augmented reality, as some speculate, says David Kirkpatrick, founder of tech-focused-conference company Techonomy Media.
The comeback started in Apple’s December quarter after three straight disappointing quarters. Shipments of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were “dynamite,” in the words of company CEO Tim Cook.
“Apple is a no-risk stock,” says Zino, who has forecast low double-digit growth year-over-year in new iPhone revenue later this year. The problems of Apple’s chief smartphone rival, Samsung Electronics, and its overheating Galaxy Note 7 contributed to the turnaround, he says.
Apple “could miss its March quarter by a mile and still outperform” with the new iPhone, Zino says. “I expect significant improvements in aesthetics…