Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wall St. Likes iPads Shopping At Wal-Mart, Target, BestBuy and-- !! -- Amazon

By Tom Dulaney

Apple's stock price per share broke $300 yesterday, a personal best for the company and a gold star from investors impressed with expanded distribution of iPads through mega retail outlets.
Besides iPad's arrival—tomorrow--at Wal-Mart stores, the retail giant also revealed at an investor meeting that its members-only Sam's Club stores will begin selling iPads. The date for that to begin has not been released yet.

Sam's Club's is hardly exclusive: Consumers get in with a $40 annual fee, and Business members are enticed with a slightly lower $35 fee.

However, small businesses flock to local Sam's Clubs, and small business is big business in America and a big deal for Apple's iPad and other tech product makers. Just over half of all the jobs in America are at small businesses, defined by the government as any company with under 500 employees.

More importantly, smaller businesses are quicker to buy products that improve efficiency. And they don't have to run the buying decision through committees and purchasing departments which take a year to think about the purchase.

Yesterday, Wall Street gave a thumbs up to Apple and the iPad, crediting Apple's breaking through the $300 a share ceiling to robust iPad sales., a much-watched stock market blog, pointed to Apple's recently expanded distribution through large retail stores as promising even faster sales of iPads through the holiday shopping season.

Major in-store sales outlets for the iPad, shipping since April: Wal-Mart, Target and BestBuy. All three offer iPads on their web sites, too, as does supposed archenemy of the iPad—Amazon and it Kindle.
On Amazon's site, updated hourly, iPads had a lock on the top 4 bestseller slots in tablet computers. It bounces around in the top third of the category lumping together all computers and accessories.

At the moment, the iPad stable is running in this order in tablet computer sales on Amazon:

Wall Street also likes Apple's iPad-fed bulge in market capitalization of $274 billion. Compare that with Amazon, at $69.5 billion and Microsoft at $219 billion.

“Market cap” is the number of outstanding shares of a company multiplied by the selling price per share. Apple's price per share this morning before the bell was $300.14; Amazon's was $155.17 and Microsoft's was $25.34.

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