Apple Inc. Stock Split Keeps Wall Street Busy as Investors Anticipate $100 Price

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A man looks at his Apple iPad in front an Apple logo outside an Apple store in downtown Shanghai
A man looks at his Apple iPad in front an Apple logo outside an Apple store in downtown Shanghai March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Aly Song

Apple Inc's stock split has sent small investors and options traders into a frenzy as the market reacts favourably. The split, which gives shareholders seven times as many shares as they have, sent the stock price to a new high of $93.82, according to reports.

Apple has become the most actively traded equity among option traders with a call volume at triple the average pace, while put volume is twice its average. Reports said over 691,000 calls have "changed hands" compared to just 294,000 puts. According to analysts, the affordability of options at their newly adjusted strikes is likely playing a significant role. If the trend continues, investors anticipate the stock to reach $100 soon.

Apple's surging stock may be boosted further by the stock split as the company makes it possible for more people to buy shares of the company. Since the stock split was announced in April along with Apple's earnings report, the stock has increased 24 per cent. The increase has led to the creation of over $100 billion in shareholder wealth. While Apple climbed by two-digit figures, Standard & Poor's 500 only improved 4 per cent, according to reports.

Apple Inc's increase in quarterly dividend, $30 billion stock buyback and the $3-billion Beats Electronics purchase and the new iOS and OSX versions have contributed to company's rally in the stock market.

Analysts said the stock split "renewed" investor interest on Apple as a growth stock.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said Apple's recent Beats acquisition worth $3 billion will bring more sales for iOS devices and strengthen the "stickiness" of Apple's ecosystem among consumers.

Apple has climbed one spot higher in the 2014 Fortune 500 rankings. The iPhone and iPad maker surpassed Texas oil and gas Phillips 66 in the latest edition of the prestigious list. Reports cited Apple is the only company from the technology sector to have made it to the Top 15.

Apple Inc posted $170 billion in total revenue for 2013, which was more than the revenues recorded by Boeing and Microsoft combined. Fortune said Apple's net sales continue to climb as the tech giant pushes more digital content and sells more iPhones to customers. 

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