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25-04-2012 18:13:00

2ndUPDATE: Apple Surges Back Above $600, Erasing Most Of Recent Loss

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--Apple surges back above $600 following blowout quarterly results

--Apple retraces 76% of what it lost in previous 11 sessions

--Wall Street analysts help fuel gains by lifting price targets

(Updates with prices, added analyst comments)

By Tomi Kilgore and Matt Jarzemsky

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) surged back above $600 Wednesday as Wall Street applauded the technology bellwether's strong quarterly results.

The stock recently traded up 9.1% to $611.29, erasing in one fell swoop much of what it lost over the previous 11 sessions. The stock had been up as much as 10.3% at an intraday high of $618, the highest price seen since April 18.

At current prices, the stock has retraced 67% of the decline from its April 9 all-time closing high of $636.23. Ahead of the earnings report, Tuesday's close of $560.28 was a six-week low.

A host of Wall Street analysts have helped fuel the gains by suggesting the shares still have a lot further to rally.

Goldman Sachs bumped up Apple's price target to $850 from $750, Wedbush Morgan lifted its target to $800 from $570, and Canaccord Genuity raised its target to $775 from $740.

J.P. Morgan said "Apple remains in a league of its own," while Gabelli & Co. said Apple's valuation "remains very compelling."

Apple's rise far outpaced its peers', and the rally was having a historic impact on the broader market. At one point Wednesday, the stock's heavy weighting contributed about 6 points to the S&P 500-stock index's overall gain, or about one-third of its climb, according to S&P Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt. An influence of that degree would be the biggest daily impact Apple has ever had on the index.

The S&P 500 was recently up 14 points, or 1%, at 1386. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which doesn't include Apple as a component, was up 76 points, or 0.6%, at 13077.

In addition, shares of Apple suppliers also rose Wednesday. Chip maker OmniVision Technologies Inc. (OVTI) gained 6.7% in late-morning trade, on pace for its biggest increase since March 6. Cirrus Logic (CRUS) climbed 8.7% and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) added 5.1%.

Ahead of Apple's results, investors had grown increasingly worried that iPhone sales might disappoint, as carriers Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and AT&T Inc. (T) reported year-over-year iPhone sales declines.

But Apple said after Tuesday's close that it sold 35.1 million iPhone units last quarter, well above expectations of about 30 million. And earnings rose 94% from year-ago levels to $11.62 billion, or $12.30 a share, on revenue growth of 59%, to $39.19 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had been expecting, on average, earnings of $10.16 a share on revenue of $36.96 billion.

Dave Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners, said it was a "classic dominant Apple quarter."

"The only chink in the armor, which is really not a chink at all, iPad numbers came in in-line," Rolfe said.

-By Tomi Kilgore, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2470; tomi.kilgore@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2012 12:13 ET (16:13 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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