Ap­ple Shares Hit Record Close on Op­ti­mism Over Next iPhone

The in­crease pegged Ap­ple at about $699 b, mak­ing it the world’s most valu­able com­pany

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

San Fran­cisco: Ap­ple Inc shares hit a record on op­ti­mism the next iPhone will drive a resur­gence in sales and help the com­pany’s ser­vices busi­nesses grow. The stock climbed less than 1% to $133.29 at the close Mon­day in New York, the high­est on record. The in­crease val­ued Ap­ple at about $699 bil­lion, mak­ing it the world’s most highly cap­i­talised com­pany. Google par­ent Al­pha­bet Inc is next at $ 573 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

An­a­lysts are pre­dict­ing a fur­ther gain in Ap­ple shares in the next year, based on the av­er­age 12-month tar­get price of $142.58, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

The in­tra­day peak for the shares is $134.54, set in April 2015. The pre­vi­ous clos­ing record was $133 in February of that year. The stock then dropped for more than a year on con­cern about wan­ing smart­phone in­dus­try g rowth and Ap­ple’s prospects be­yond the iPhone. How­ever, the com­pany re­cently re­ported stronger-thanex­pected iPhone sales dur­ing the key hol­i­day quar­ter, help­ing the stock reach a new high. While the iPhone 7, in­tro­duced in Septem­ber, failed to con­vince 2 Al­pha­bet 3 Mi­crosoft 4 Berk­shire Hath­away 5 Ama­zon.com 6 Face­book 7 Exxon Mo­bil 8 John­son & John­son 9 JPMor­gan Chase 10 Wells Fargo Data as of 13-2-2017 *On ma­jor US stock ex­changes

Ap­ple shares have risen by more than so far in 2017 and by more than in 2016 580.1 500.1 408.9 399 387.4 344.3 315.3 314.8 286.3 as many ex­ist­ing cus­tomers to up­grade as its pre­de­ces­sor did, it suc­ceeded in at­tract­ing new smart­phone buy­ers to the Cu­per­tino, Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany. That bodes well for the next iPhone later this year, which is ex­pected to be a more sub­stan­tial up­grade, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts. “It’s prob­a­bly just a con­tin­u­a­tion of the ral ly fol low­ing the last quar­ter re­port and guid­ance for the sec­ond quar­ter that’s giv­ing in­vestors a bridge to the next iPhone that many are get­ting ex­cited iPhone is on track to top

13 Feb, ’17

about,” said BTIG an­a­lyst Walter Piecyk. The stock was also buoyed by the eq­uity mar­ket, with all US bench­marks end­ing the day at records. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age, which in­cludes Ap­ple Inc, climbed past 20,400 for the first time.

iPhone users in­creases the chances Ap­ple can sell soft­ware, ser­vices and sub­scrip­tions like Ap­ple Mu­sic and iCloud. Ser­vices rev­enue grew 18% to $7.2 bil­lion in the most re­cent pe­riod, and the com­pany aims to dou­ble the an­nual to­tal to more than $50 bil­lion by fis­cal 2021.

Still, Ap­ple has strug­gled to ex­pand into other busi­nesses that are big enough to move the nee­dle at a com­pany with more than $200 bil­lion in an­nual rev­enue. Its se­cre­tive car pro­ject got off to a slow start and the Ap­ple Watch, whi le p opu l a r, h a s n’t come close to match­ing the iPhone’s suc­cess. The busi­ness can’t rely on hit smart­phones alone in

the fu­ture.

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