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25-04-2012 23:22:00

3rd UPDATE: Apple Surges Back Above $600

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

--Apple posts biggest one-day percentage rise since November 2008

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

(Updates with closing prices and other price details.)

By Tomi Kilgore and Matt Jarzemsky

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK (Dow Jones) -- Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) rallied more than it had in three and a half years to close back above $600 Wednesday as Wall Street applauded the technology bellwether's strong quarterly results.

The stock closed up $49.72, or 8.9%, to $610, recovering much of what it had lost over the previous 11 sessions. That marked the biggest one-day point gain in its history, and the largest percentage gain since Nov. 24, 2008.

The stock retraced 65% 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 helped fuel the gains by suggesting the shares still have a lot further to rally.

Goldman Sachs bumped up its price target on Apple 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 analysts at Gabelli & Co. said Apple's valuation "remains very compelling."

Apple's rise far outpaced its peers', and the rally had a notable impact on the broader market. The stock's heavy weighting contributed 27.2% of the S&P 500-stock index's overall gain on Wednesday, by far the biggest one-day contribution a single stock has ever had on the index, according to Standard & Poor's senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt.

The S&P 500 advanced 18.72 points, or 1.4%, to 1390.69 Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which doesn't include Apple as a component, rose 89.16 points, or 0.7%, to 13090.72.

Shares of Apple suppliers also rose Wednesday. Chip maker OmniVision Technologies Inc. (OVTI) gained 8.8%, Cirrus Logic (CRUS) climbed 11% and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) rose 5.7%.

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. 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 on average had been expecting 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 and Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2470; tomi.kilgore@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2012 17:22 ET (21:22 GMT)

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

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