Apple is the world's most valuable publicly traded company, and it just broke its own record. Shares opened at $149.06 a piece on Monday, with 5.2 billion outstanding shares. Following a positive analyst report, Apple’s shares rose over 3% in midday trading to a record high of $153.70. At one point, the company's market value rose above $800 billion before retreating below that barrier. Apple's shares closed up 2.7% for the day at $153.01, good for a market value of $797.8 billion.
That market cap sets a new record — overwriting Apple’s record high of $774.7 billion set in February 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported. While Apple stock has been setting records for months now (17 times since February, to be specific), Monday marks the first time in which Apple shares opened at a market-cap high — owing primarily to the fact that Apple has been buying back millions of its shares in recent years, Business Insider reported.
Last week, Apple reported earnings that fell slightly below Wall Street expectations and forecasts, but the resulting slide in share prices was brief and quickly overcome. On Monday, a particularly bullish analyst gave Apple a bump on its price target — $202 per share within a year. The analyst, Brian White of Drexel Hamilton, wrote in a client note on Monday that Apple’s stocks are the most “underappreciated” in the world and carry an “attractive upside” for investors, according to CNBC. That $202 price target would see Apple becoming the world’s first trillion dollar company, with a market cap of around $1.05 trillion.
In an interview with CNBC, Buffett praised Apple and noted that it is “amazing” how the company resonated with consumers.
The legendary investor also stated, “I can very easily determine the competitive position of Apple now and who’s trying to chase them and how easy it is to chase them.” Buffett explained that he used Berkshire Hathaway’s insights into its furniture business to determine Apple’s value.
“We happened to be well situated in terms of having these massive home furnishing stores. I can learn very easily how consumers react to different things there. You can’t move people by price in the smartphone market remotely like you can move them in appliances or all kinds of things. People want the product. They don’t want the cheapest product.”
Many Apple investors remain upbeat about the company’s future, specifically due to this year’s radically redesigned flagship iPhone — known alternatively as the iPhone 8 or iPhone Edition. This year’s iPhone is expected to produce an upgrade “super-cycle” and a resulting sales boom. The iPhone 8 is largely expected to feature a nearly edge-to-edge OLED display with minimal bezels, a new “function area” in lieu of a home button, and other innovative features.
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