Apple Short Interest Rises Nearly 2 Million Shares

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw its short interest tick up by 1.89 million shares to 52.89 million for the period ended March 15. Based on this, Apple ranked 10th among the companies with stocks listed on the Nasdaq.

Excluding Monday’s move, Apple has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up 21% 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 36%.

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. In its most recent quarter, the iPhone giant posted $3.36 in earnings per share (EPS) and $78.4 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $3.22 in EPS and $77.38 billion in revenue.

The next quarterly report is expected in late April.

Another 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. The widely regarded site MacRumors reported:

Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned for 2017, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera. The new iPhone may be sold alongside upgraded (but standard) 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones.

Shares of Apple were trading at $140.35 on Monday, with a consensus analyst price target of $144.48 and a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $142.80.