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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


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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