CNN Money said Friday morning that the market may finally have hit bottom. Investors were exceptionally cautious on Thursday and many stocks saw depressed numbers, possibly indicating a “bounce” Friday. Several companies reported strong increases before the bell even sounded on the trading day:
Apple, Inc.( AAPL) launches the iPhone 4S officially today, driving the stock up 2.30% in premarket trading. The increase pushes AAPL to $417.78 from its 52-week low of$297.76. AAPL is estimated to rise to $498.80 over the next 12 months, although some analysts forecast even larger growth, putting AAPL at $700 a share next year. AAPL has an analyst recommendation of 1.6 on a 1 to 5 scale in which 1 indicates a strong buy and 5 a sell. AAPL is up 26.62% YTD. Apple is a favorite amongst the hedge fund managers we track, earning the top spot on the “10 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds”. Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management fund is the most bullish amongst the funds we track. It has a $707 million position in the company – that’s over 20% of the entire portfolio (see more of Rob Citrone’s top picks).
Verizon (VZ) also sells iPhones. Although it didn’t get the same boost as Apple, it was up 1.08%, trading at a pre-market price of $93.60 compared to a close Thursday at $92.60. VZ has a dividend yield of 5.50% and modest, steady growth, returning over 9% YTD compared to a roughly 7% loss for the market. Phill Gross And Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management is bullish on VZ. The fund has more than $148 million invested in VZ (check out Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s favorite stocks).
Sprint Nextel Corp (S) saw an increase in premarket trading too. Share prices rose 8.27% before the bell sounded, pushing Sprint from a $2.78 yesterday to $3.01 before the trading day began. Why the increase? AT&T isn’t the only retailer selling the new iPhone 4S. New comer Sprint is now an iPhone carrier. Current estimates put Sprint trading at $4.41 in 12 months. David Einhorn is a fan. His Greenlight Capital fund owns 55.9 million shares, valued at $301 million total (read about David Einhorn’s most bullish picks).
Bank of America (BAC) was up from $6.22 at Thursday’s close to open Friday at $6.32 a share. It is estimated to rise to $10.44 in the next 12 months, although some analysts forecast BAC will be up to $14 a share by then. It is currently getting 2.3 on a recommendation scale of 1 to 5, where 5 means sell. BAC is smaller by market cap than its rival Citigroup (C), with a market cap of $63.95 billion vs. Citigroup’s $82.52 billion but it has more revenue, $71.62 billion vs. Citigroup’s $63.07 billion. Bruce Berkowitz has more than $1 billion of his Fairholme (FAIRX) fund invested in BAC and, in spite of its losses, he actually increased his position in it by 8% during the second quarter (see Bruce Berkowitz’s favorite positions).
Google, Inc. (GOOG) closed yesterday at $558.99 to open Friday at $598.77 after reporting stronger than expected third quarter profit. Analysts rate the stock as a buy, expecting the stock to swell to $715.83 in the next 12 months. In spite of its size and virtual market saturation, GOOG is still enjoying quarterly revenue growth of 32.30% compared to losses for the much smaller AOL, Inc. (AOL) and Yahoo, Inc. (YHOO). Stephen Mandel bought his Lone Pine Capital fund a new $420 million position in the company in the second quarter (check out Stephen Mandel’s top stocks).