2017’s Best Performing DJIA Stock: Apple

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Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) added $1.84 (1.2%) in the short week following the Memorial Day holiday. The company remains the best-performing stock by a wide margin among the 30 equities the comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). The company’s stock is up 34.22% year to date, well above second-place McDonald’s 26.31% improvement.

The company’s market cap at Friday’s close was $812.72 billion, a gain of more than $9 billion for the week.

The big news from the company last week was the big news coming next week as Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) opens in San Francisco. More than 5,000 attendees are expected and the big announcement is widely believed to be a voice-controlled speaker, similar to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, that uses Apple’s Siri. The company had better show some improvements to Siri as well because a recent comparison does not rate the software very highly.

Apple is also expected to announce new Intel processors for its MacBooks and perhaps a long-awaited 10.5-inch iPad. The company is also expected to show off the latest improvements to its various operating systems: iOS, MacOS, WatchOS and tvOS.

In advance of the WWDC, the company announced that it has paid out over $70 billion to apps developers since the App Store opened in 2008. Based on last year’s report that Apple had paid out $50 billion, app developers earned $20 billion from the company last year.

Apple doesn’t do to badly from app sales either. The company takes a 30% cut on most sales but offers some subscription programs a lower rate of 15%.

In an interview last week, activist investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital talked about his failed attempt to get Apple to issue preferred shares and how that compares with his similar suggestion recently to General Motors. From Barron’s transcript:

Look, with Apple, they had a problem with capital allocation. They were storing lots and lots of cash. They were returning none of it to shareholders. … But instead, what they did was they changed their constraint. They previously said, we’re not buying back stock, and since then, they’ve borrowed $100 billion. They’ve bought back a quarter of the stock, at less than $100.  The [price-earnings ratio] net of cash has expanded from 7 to 13, in part because Apple has a better capital allocation policy today than it did before we came in.

If you own Apple stock, you have Einhorn to thank for its booming value.

Apple shares closed at $155.45 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $91.50 to $156.65. The consensus 12-month price target is $161.23, according to MarketWatch.