Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock to Reward Investors in 2014?

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Apple (APPL) CEO Tim Cook has said 2014 will be an “exciting” year for new products, but he has been tight-lipped on specifics, keeping the company’s plans under wraps. But some clues to what’s in store can be heard through the financial grapevine.

According to Patrick Wang, an analyst with Evercore Partners, Apple will produce a 12-inch, ARM chip-run hybrid iPad that will challenge Intel’s (INTC) business-focused tablet business and change the traditional notebook industry.

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian J. White, citing Asian sources, expects Apple to launch an iWatch, a smartwatch with trendy mass market appeal, this year—bringing “cool” to the wearable technology segment.

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair said in a December research report that Apple could release the iTV this year, coinciding with the consumer upgrade cycle for Ultra HD, or 4K, TV sets, which have four times the screen resolution of today’s HD sets. And there is industry buzz that the company has a large-screen iPhone 6 in the works, which may have a 5-inch screen. (The current iPhone 5 series has a 4-inch display, while the previous generation iPhone 4S has a 3.5-inch screen.)

The greatest certainty, however, is that Apple will benefit from its highly-anticipated partnership with China Mobile (CHL), the largest carrier in China, now the world’s largest smartphone market. The introduction of the iPhone to the Chinese marketplace could bring Apple anywhere from 10 million to 24 million in first-year sales, boosting earnings per share by $2 to $4 in 2014, according to most analyst estimates. In September, the company broke into the Japanese market through its partnership with NTT Docomo of Japan and found immediate success with “bestseller” status.

On the surface, Apple’s recent financial performance may be less than impressive to investors with memories of September 2012, when shares soared to a record high above $700, making it the highest-valued company in the world.

Sure, the stock is hovering in the mid-$500 range, a far cry from its high-flying days. And Apple shares have recently stumbled after being downgraded from “outperform” to “market perform” on gross margin concerns by Wells Fargo (WFC) analyst Maynard Um. But look beyond the headlines and you’ll find a company poised for potentially marketing-moving developments this year.

Although the tech powerhouse’s income and profits were down (8 percent and 10 percent, respectively) in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 28, revenues rose 4 percent compared with the same period in 2012, beating most analyst estimates. And since shares hit bottom at about $390 a share last June, the stock has since rebounded 40-odd percent.

Apple Risk State from SmartStops.net

Source: SmartStops.net

Based on SmartStops technical analysis, investors who employed a prudent exit strategy when shares entered a state of elevated risk under the conservative signal view saved $113-plus per share during the pullback. Although a reentry signal was recently triggered by SmartStops—indicating a normal risk state—investors should always perform due diligence and exercise good position sizing to determine when to enter or reenter a position, taking into account their personal appetite for risk and the company’s risk profile.

The consensus among most experts on The Street is that, when all is said and done, Apple will return to growth in net income and realize increased EPS this year as the company continues to extend its global reach and capitalize on the expanding market for its branded products and services.

But even if the Apple continues its momentum on the path to a prosperous 2014, being able to spot the right sell point can insulate you from potential losses, should its stock not be ready to return to peak value.