Apple Stock Rises Strongly As December Earnings Looms


Apple is one of the evergreen stocks within the tech-friendly NASDAQ exchange's listed corporate giants and has provided investors with an interesting set of figures over recent months with more than a degree of volatility in its share price.

Until the tech stock downturn, which took place in 2022, there was always a steady dynamic displayed by Silicon Valley's 'big tech' companies, leading to what is now referred to as the 'Magnificent 7 stocks' consisting of Google's parent company Alphabet; Amazon; Apple; Facebook's parent company Meta; Microsoft; Nvidia; and Tesla.

Within these, it has often been Tesla that has been notorious for volatility, its characteristics and leadership being somewhat different to the conformist 'gray suit' approach of the big, long-established computer and internet companies which it aligns with, however over recent months, Apple has been in the limelight for considerable volatility.

Apple, which was founded 48 years ago and therefore is far from the fledglings that have entered the publicly listed arena in the past decade with a sudden disruptive methodology such as Tesla, or more recently, the highly volatile stocks that became listed on NASDAQ following high-value SPAC listings, but is certainly experiencing a period of movement within the market.

This week begins with the anticipation of December 2023's earnings report, which will be issued by Apple this Thursday, February 1.

Indicative pricing only

In the advent of the release of the company's earnings report for the previous quarter, market sentiment is positive, depicted by a significant increase in Apple stock values over the past week, culminating in a value within the mid $195 range at the close of the US trading session on Friday last week according to the FXOpen price chart, representing a significant rise from its position around the high $180 range on January 17.

During the last quarter of 2023, Apple stock was volatile indeed, with low points in October, having now recovered healthily.

The market has clearly responded well to the anticipation of positive news during this Thursday's earnings report, which analysts predict will display a revenue figure of $32.56 billion, the highest achieved by Apple Corporation since the first quarter of the 2022 financial year.

The iPhone 15 was released in September last year, which perhaps could add some positivity to the sales figures for the quarter, and earnings per share (EPS) for shareholders is looking set to be the highest in two years. However, the focus is really on hardware sales this time.

Sales of Apple iPhone smartphone handsets are looking set to be around $68.4 billion for the quarter being reported on Thursday, which represents the second-highest quarterly earnings from sales of hardware in the company's history.

Apple's corporate progress during 2023 has also been relatively free of setbacks, the only matter of interest having surfaced having been a patent infringement allegation regarding blood oxygen sensors in certain Apple Watch models and some speculation about the US Department of Justice potentially citing Apple for an anti-competition stance in its marketing of iPhone products. The latter of these two is pure speculation, however, unlike the very real situation that has blighted 'Magnificent 7' peer Microsoft over a long period of time due to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, in which the US and UK authorities have actively pursued the company via legal proceedings to prevent what they consider to be a monopolistic merger.

Apple's overtly progressive 2023 has, despite the volatile share prices, been very positive for the company, its share price being very buoyant and sentiment optimistic.

Clearly, observers and investors alike will welcome the release of the earnings report on February 1 whilst watching the values closely.

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