It is that time of year again: Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), the largest U.S. company by market value, is holding a new product launch today. Along with the expected unveiling of the iPhone 6, there is some talk the company could also introduce a wearable device or a new mobile payments platform.
No company’s new product launches are as widely followed as Apple’s. Combine that with the potential for the stock to move following these new product unveilings and its large presence in scores of well-known exchange traded funds, this is an ideal time for ETF investors to check their Apple exposure.
“S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst Scott Kessler notes AAPL’s significant market position in key areas, and what he views as high customer satisfaction and switching costs. Higher volumes, a focus on common components, and a greater emphasis on software and services should aid profitability. S&P Capital IQ believes the balance sheet will be increasingly employed for dividends and stock repurchases, as well M&A. AAPL completed in August its purchase of Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion. However, Kessler think the stock is fully valued based on a relative analysis. Apple shares have climbed 30% in 2014,” said S&P Capital IQ in a new research note.
With that stellar 2014 performance has come a market value of almost $590 billion for Apple, or about $190 billion larger than rival Google’s (NasdaqGS: GOOGL) market cap. That also means Apple’s already large footprint in some big ETFs has increased. [Another ETF Getting Some Apple Love]
Not surprisingly, Apple is the largest holding in the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), the NASDAQ-100 tracking ETF, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK). Apple commands a weight of nearly 13.1% in QQQ, or about 480 basis points more than the ETF allocates to Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT). XLK, the largest technology sector ETF, has a 15.3% Apple weight. That is nearly 650 basis points above its allocation to Microsoft.
Apple is also a top-10 holding in some ETFs where investors may not expect the stock to have such a dominant perch.
“While 13 of the 16 ETFs classified by S&P Capital IQ as U.S. large-cap growth had a top-10 stake in Apple, just one of the 15 U.S. large-cap value ETF had a similar position,” said S&P Capital IQ.
The Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM), one of the largest U.S. dividend ETFs, has an almost 7% weight to Apple, making the iPhone maker that ETF’s largest holding by 180 basis points over Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM). The Vanguard Growth ETF (NYSEArca: VUG) also has a 7% weight to Apple, 300 basis points more than it devotes to Google. S&P Capital IQ rates VUG, VYM and XLK overweight. [A Simple Dividend ETF]