Apple Inc. (AAPL) Expanding In Israel, Cook To Inaugurate R&D Center This Week

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook will visit Israel this week to inaugurate the company’s new research and development center in Herzilya Pituah, says a report from the Jerusalem Post. Cook will probably meet the former President Shimon Peres as well as the country’s senior high-tech figures.

Expanding in Israel

Last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California during a 2014 trip, but this time it’s not clear if both of them will meet. Last year, in August, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak visited Israel to take part in the EduAction Forum, an annual education conference that starts at the start of the school year.

The new building is 12,500 square meters large, and will have 800 employees along with the Apple Israel’s development center, as well as, the marketing sales division.

The U.S. Company’s expansion in Israel is based on the acquisition of flash memory developer Anobit in 2012 and movement sensor developer PrimeSense in 2013. Apple Israel has also hired 150 employees that were dropped by Texas Instruments.

Different views on Apple stock

Trusted UBS analyst Steve Milunovich raised the price target from $130 to $150 based on a higher PE multiple. The iOS ecosystem and interoperability of the iPhone, iPad and Macs are few strong reasons that are driving the company ahead. Additionally, the company is also expanding the services such as Apple Pay, Car Play, Homekit and Healthkit, which further strengthen the ecosystem. The Cupertino, California-based company is creating a flawless user experience on various platforms and products, which adds new users and repeat buyers, says a report from Forbes.

David Einhorn’s Hedge fund Greenlight Capital has slashed its stake in Apple by 6.2% to 8.6 million shares during the fourth-quarter, according to a regulatory filing. Also, David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management hedge fund sold its entire Apple holdings, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Another hedge fund, Harvard Management sold 194,600 shares.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares have surged 15% year to date, and last week the market capitalization surged $700 billion, which is larger than Switzerland’s gross domestic product. Last week, activist investor Carl Icahn said Apple shares are worth $216 apiece, which gives it a market capitalization of about $1.26 trillion.