For the period ended March 31, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw its short interest drop by 6.81 million shares to 46.07 million from the previous level of 52.89 million. Based on this, Apple ranked 12th among the most shorted stocks listed on the Nasdaq.
Excluding Monday’s move, Apple has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up 23% year to date. The move by the stock thus far makes Apple the best-performing Dow stock on the index. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up nearly 31%.
The reasons for the extraordinary run fall mostly into two categories. The first is that Apple’s iPhone sales in the final quarter of last year reached a record, as did the sales of several other Apple products.
The iPhone giant is expected to report its fiscal second-quarter financial results later this month. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $2.02 in earnings per share (EPS) and $52.92 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.90 and $50.56 billion in revenue.
One compelling catalyst for Apple’s run in 2017 is the launch of the iPhone 8. Unlike recently released iPhones, analysts expect the new version to add a set of extraordinary new features and retake the leadership in cutting-edge smartphone technology.
Shares of Apple were trading at $141.90 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $144.48 and a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $142.80.