A Wall Street Bet Against Apple Rises

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Short interest in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares rose 4.7 million to 49.9 million in the period that ended May 15. The negative bet on Apple’s share prices comes as its stock reached $153, very close to its all-time high.

Apple’s shares are up 32% this year. It continues to break its own records for market cap value. The figure stands at $800 billion. Several analysts expect that figure to reach $1 trillion within a year.

Apple was the 10th most shorted stock traded on the Nasdaq in the period.

Apple’s rise has been triggered both by strong earnings, and extraordinary expectations for the iPhone 8. The smartphone is expected to yield Apple $1,000 per unit, much higher than the industry average. Some analysts expect that in its September quarter, Apple will sell 44 million units of the iPhone 8.

The primary reason to bet against Apple’s share price short term is persistent rumors that the iPhone 8 launch will fall after the traditional September iPhone unveiling. This in turn would undermine results for the balance of calendar 2017.

For its fiscal 2017 second quarter that ended April 1:

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $52.9 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.10. These results compare to revenue of $50.6 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.90 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

As for its forecast:

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2017 third quarter:

  • revenue between $43.5 billion and $45.5 billion
  • gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $6.6 billion and $6.7 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $450 million
  • tax rate of 25.5 percent