Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rose 0.72% on Thursday and closed at $267.99. So far, the stock has risen 11% this week compared to a fall of 2.56% last week. The stock has gained more than 5.0% in April compared to a fall of about 7.0% in March.
Apple stock still looks attractive
Lately, investors have shown renewed interest in Apple stock. There are expectations that the company will launch a new low-cost iPhone as soon as next week. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive job losses and hit household incomes. A budget iPhone might be the perfect fit for this market condition. In fact, Apple has considered delaying its 2020 flagship iPhone, which will likely be a 5G device. The company is concerned about a lack of demand.
The iPhone business is Apple’s main revenue source. A cheap iPhone could generate good sales amid the COVID-19 battered market. Apple stock has risen 155% since the company launched the first cheap iPhone SE for $400 in 2016.
Apple plans to reopen its retail stores, which contributed to investors’ renewed interest in the shares. To curb the spread of COVID-19, Apple shut all of its stores outside of China and a few other Asian countries last month. However, the company plans to start reopening the stores this month, which should help lift the pressure on its sales.
At the closing on Thursday, Apple stock rose 57.4% from its 52-week low. At this point, investors can still scoop up the stock at more than an 18% discount to the $328 price that investors paid for it around mid-February this year.
Apple has a strong balance sheet
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a huge threat to Apple’s business, especially the hardware business. However, Apple is one company that’s well-placed to ride out the pandemic. The company finished 2019 with $99 billion in net cash. Apple can keep the lights on for a long time without begging for a bailout. The strong balance sheet is another reason investors continue to turn bullish on Apple stock amid the pandemic.