Apple shares close higher on Tuesday, coronavirus reaches Apple’s European headquarters in Ireland

An employee at Apple Inc’s European headquarters in Ireland has been infected with COVID-19, the tech giant said.

The employee is now in self-isolation, the company said.

Apple shares closed higher for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Tuesday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since March 2nd. The stock went up 7.20% ($19.17) to $285.55. The latter also was the intraday high and a price level not seen since March 6th ($290.82).

Shares of Apple Inc have retreated 2.76% so far in 2020 compared with a 10.79% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Apple’s stock went up 86.16%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

“As a precaution, we have asked some of our team members to stay at home while we work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the situation,” Apple said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

“We are continuing to regularly deep clean all our offices and stores and will take all necessary precautions in accordance with guidance from health authorities,” the company said.

So far, 24 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Ireland.

Currently, Apple employs nearly 6 000 people in Ireland, which makes it one of the largest international employers in the country.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 39 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $345.00, with a high estimate of $400.00 and a low estimate of $190.00. The median estimate represents a 20.82% upside compared to the closing price of $285.55 on March 10th.

The same media also reported that at least 24 out of 42 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 14 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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