Apple Inc. (AAPL) Shares Reach $100 Mark Since Stock Split; First Flagship Store in Middle East May Open Soon

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The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California
IN PHOTO: The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has hit the $100 per share mark on Aug. 19 midday for the first since the company announced a stock split in June. Notable analysts were bullish as Apple shares followed a generally upward trend. According to reports, Apple's share at pre-stock split levels traded above $705 in September 2012 before falling to almost $600 in May 2014.

Apple stock has increased to more than eight percent since the company announced its stock split. During that time, the stock was traded at $92 per share which is an amount more affordable to small investors.

In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley said now is the ideal time to buy Apple shares before the launch of the iPhone 6 as expected in September. This statement has helped Apple stock reach $100.

Analyst Katy Huberty has strongly recommended AAPL shares and enumerated several reasons for her note. She believes the iPhone 6 launch will be "different" from other product cycles in the past. Huberty said Apple shares will grow since stock currently has low institutional ownership rates.

According to reports, the top 100 holders of Apple shares have a 2.3 per cent stake in their portfolios which is less than the 4.5 per cent stake Apple held in 2012.

Huberty encouraged investors to take note of Apple's leadership and product investments through the years, hiring of new key personnel, acquisitions and R&D investments. She said the iPhone 6 will mean strong margins for the company. She also noted the company's online services especially the App Store with its continuous growth in terms of revenue.

The analyst said she has "high hopes" for Apple's new products and predicted an iWatch release could result in 60 million shipments on its first year. She has set $110 as the price target for Apple stock while maintaining an "overweight" rating.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to open its largest retail store in Dubai, Saudi Arabia. Reports said the new Apple store could be built inside the Dubai Mall of the Emirates. If completed, it will be Apple's first flagship store in the Middle East. Apple has reportedly posted retail job listings for its future store in Dubai. 

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