July 24 - Apple has become the most valuable company in the world- but its true worth is a matter of debate ahead of the expected release of its next iPhone. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Everyone wants to bet on the winner- and the easy pick has been Apple. It is- literally- the world's most valuable company. But can it continue to win when it's being chased by a field of competitors like Google and Microsoft? Yes- says Thomson Reuters Analyst Jharrone Martis: SOUNDBITE: JHARRONE MARTIS, ANALYST, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It should be trading $300 higher at about $900 a share. Market expectations are still considered very low. The price of the stock has not grown as fast as Apple's bottom line." Apple stock puts the S&P 500 to shame- up 78 percent in the last 18 months... compared to just a 4 percent rise for the broad based index. But wait- options volume is on the rise- up 50 percent this year, in part because uncertainty about Apple has increased. And Apple stock is off its all time high of $644 hit in April. If the huge growth Apple has had in recent years takes a break- some analysts say volatility in Apple's stock price will rise- because hedge funds will likely rush to exit their stock positions- and lock in their gains. REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: The product to watch- The iPhone. The five-year old device accounts for close to half of Apple's revenues- but sales have slowed while consumers wait for the iPhone 5. But that could be just a pause, on the way to an even higher climb for the stock. SOUNDBITE: JHARRONE MARTIS, ANALYST, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The stock is considered a buy usually in the weeks leading up to the introduction of a new product and we could see a new iPhone 5 as early as October." Just in time for the holidays. Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S says Apple could pull in $55 billion in revenues in December- the size of the economy of Belarus according to the International Monetary Fund. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.