Is Apple a Hot Stock?

With shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) trading around $93, is AAPL an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Apple designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, third-party digital content, and applications. The company’s products and services feature the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and further accessory, service, and support offerings. Apple also delivers digital content and applications through its iTunes, App, iBook, and Mac App stores.

It’s no secret that China is figuring into Apple’s future plans. The iPhone maker reported an all time quarterly revenue record of almost $10 billion in Greater China during the March quarter, and CEO Tim Cook noted that it was the company’s fastest growing region. “We literally did well in every single area in China,” said Cook, according to a second-quarter of fiscal 2014 earnings call transcript provided by Seeking Alpha. “So, we’re looking at this data and deciding to continue investing in a big way. We plan to triple the number of Apple Retail Stores over the next two years,” he added. Now it appears that Cook is implementing the first phase of his retail expansion plans for Greater China.

According to job postings first spotted by Bloomberg on Apple’s China website, the company is seeking new Apple Store managers for six Chinese cities. As noted by Bloomberg, none of the cities listed currently have Apple Stores. The cities include Tianjin, Chongqing, Wuxi, Zhengzhou, Shenyang, and Hangzhou. However, the job postings did not reveal when the new store locations will open. Apple currently has thirteen Apple Store locations in the Greater China region. Ten stores are located in major urban centers on the Chinese mainland, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The other three are located in the semiautonomous city-state of Hong Kong. Last year, for the first time, China was included in Apple’s initial iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch event after years of getting the latest iPhone models weeks after most other markets.