Apple stock flirted once again with $200 close

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4:10 pm EST December 27, 2007 - The assassination of Pakistan's leading challenger to the prime minister's post may be to blame for a late afternoon plummet in Apple's stock value, along with the rest of the tech sector.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling nearly 200 points by the close of trading Thursday, even a buoyant Apple -- which had traded at $203 per share at about 10:15 this morning -- couldn't help but get weighed down, falling to a half-dollar below yesterday's close at about $198.50.

2:51 pm EST December 27, 2007 - Closing yesterday at $198, and currently trading at over $200 a share, Apple's stock is the most valuable it's ever been.

Apple stock value reached an all-time intra-day high of $202.66 per share at 10:30 Thursday morning, and was flirting with that level again by 2:45 pm.

It's been a year of mostly good news for Apple, today being no exception. In the quarter ending September 29, Apple reported sales of 2,164,000 Macs, breaking its sales record by over 400,000. Those sales made Apple the third largest personal computer company in the US market with an 8.1% share behind Dell and HP, according to Gartner estimates. (iSuppli estimates place Lenovo at #3, with Apple not even in the top 5.)

The company also reported sales of 10,200,000 iPods in the quarter. So the device which held 72.7% of all portable media players at the beginning of 2007, is still dominating that market.

In addition, 1,119,000 iPhones were sold last quarter. The fact that Apple was not even in the cell phone industry just last year and became a major player with its first product is a testament to the current value of the company.

And topping that all off today was a landmark deal that will finally bring 20th Century-Fox movies to iTunes.

Anticipation of Macworld also traditionally contributes to the gain in share value in the first quarter. With rumors of a new sub-notebook Mac to be announced there next month, many are speculating that Apple's stock will continue to rise through 2008 as high as $300 per share and beyond.

Despite overall disappointment in holiday sales this year, the quarter ending on December 31 could be a banner one for the Cupertino company.

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