AAPL Closes Thursday at All-Time High of $636.34

Apple (AAPL) stock closed at an all-time high Thursday, valued at the closing bell at US$636.34 per share. The previous closing high, $636.23, was set back on April 9 with an intraday high of $644 set on April 10.

AAPL Closing HighAAPL vs ^IXIC YTD (via Yahoo Finance)

Following the early April records Apple’s stock price tumbled a bit, shedding nearly 18 percent of its value by mid-May. The price then began the upward trend that has characterized AAPL in the past year, culminating with Thursday’s closing high.

This most recent rally of Apple stock comes on the heels of Apple’s Q3 earnings report in late July. Despite solid growth, Apple’s numbers on the quarter missed analyst expectations and were considered by Wall Street to be a “disappointment.” The continuing rise in stock price indicates strong anticipation for Apple to rebound in Q4 with new product launches.

Thursday also marked the payout of Apple’s new dividend plan, with almost all registered Apple shareholders as of Monday receiving $2.65 per share. The dividend, announced in March along with a stock buyback, was part of a plan by Apple to address investor concerns about its growing cash hoard. With an expected cost about $2.5 billion, however, it pales in comparison to the over $110 billion in cash that Apple currently has on hand.

For the year AAPL is up 54.74 percent, which outperforms the NASDAQ by over 300 percent. It is up 1.62 (0.25 percent) in pre-market trading.