Positive News Catalysts for Apple Inc Shares Hitting $506 Today

Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) and AT&T (NYSE:T) will sell a version of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, sources say, reports the Wall Street Journal. An announcement from Apple could come in early March.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is aggressively looking to hire a new production support manager, reports 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.

Bloomberg says GSA staff can request iPhones (NASDAQ:AAPL) instead of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:RIMM) devices. The employees can also request Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) devices.

It has been estimated that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has sold more than 1M iPads in South Korea, taking 70%-80% of the market and outpacing Samsung by a wide margin, according to BGR.

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.

Jefferies believes 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 keeps a Buy rating on Apple shares with a $599 price target.

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has closed of its investigations Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) of certain Nortel Networks Corporation (NRTLQ) patents, and the acquisition by Apple of certain Novell Inc. patents. The DOJ says “After a thorough review of the proposed transactions, the Antitrust Division has determined that each acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition and has closed the investigations.”

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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