Apple Inc (AAPL) Stock Finishes Wild Trading Week at $502.12 Per Share

Shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) began the week at $500, hit an all-time peak of $526.99, before heading back to $502.12 on a wild ride of profit-taking to finish the week. Here’s the news that moved Apple’s stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) this week:

On Monday, regional big-box retailer Meijer cut the price of the 16GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi by $70 ahead of the expected launch of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 3. Meanwhile China’s Administration of Industry and Commerce started confiscating any iPads it finds for sale following the verdict of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) trademark infringement lawsuit with Proview, reports DigiCha, citing the Hebei Youth Daily.

Tuesday, with increasing competition and to broaden its product line, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a new tablet computer with a smaller screen–about eight inches–sources say, reports the Wall Street Journal. Also, Jefferies believed Apple has the ability to maintain higher margins for longer than the market realizes given its supply chain initiatives. The firm thinks Apple can leverage its cash flow to fund suppliers’ manufacturing, which will mitigate margin pressures. Jefferies kept a Buy rating on Apple shares with a $599 price target. And, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was aggressively looking to hire a new production support manager, reported Apple Insider. A recruiter for the company has allegedly been sending messages on LinkedIn to fill the position in the next two to three weeks.

On Wednesday, it was learned that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook dropped hints at a Goldman Sachs conference that iTV could see some new developments in the near future, according to the Los Angeles Times. Also, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) became the world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4, but will see its iPhone market share slipping for a couple of quarters as the novelty of its latest 4S model runs out, according to research firm Gartner, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) asked to sue Eastman Kodak over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames, reported Bloomberg.

In addition, Jefferies believed Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at a dividend and bigger successor to the Apple TV at a conference yesterday in San Francisco. The firm found Cook’s comments as confirmation that Apple is likely to start paying a dividend in the second half of 2012. Jefferies kept a Buy rating on Apple shares with a $599 price target.

The firm said Cook was confident on Apple’s incremental growth opportunities, emerging market growth, tablet expansion, and iPhone share gains. The firm viewed the presentation as a positive catalyst for shares and reiterated its Conviction Buy rating and $600 price target.

Thursday, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest lawsuit against Samsung was wider than originally outlined, including the Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 as well as the Galaxy Tab 7.0 and 8.9, according to Electronista. On the other hand, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook unveiled a new version of the Macintosh operating system called “Mountain Lion” that incorporates many features from the software that powers Apple’s popular mobile devices, the iPad and iPhone which use the software called iOS. Included are Apple’s messaging service, notifications app, gaming center, sharing features and integration with the company’s online service iCloud.

Friday, rumors swirled that a new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV model is soon to arrive following reports that Best Buy is no longer selling the current Apple TV model on its website, Apple Insider reports. In China, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share of the smartphone market fell for a second straight quarter in October-December, as it lost ground to cheaper local brands and as some shoppers waited for the iPhone 4S launch last month, reports Reuters. Lastly, Proview Technology, which says it owns the Chinese rights for the “iPad” trademark, is threatening to sue Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for $2B in the U.S., AFP reports. Li Su, chairman of Hejun Vanguard Group, which is working with creditors to restructure Proview, says the company is currently selecting American law firms to sue Apple.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com