Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) reached an all-time high driven by positive comments from Wall Street analysts. The stock price of the Cupertino-based iPhone maker reached as much as $133.82 per share and ended the trading at $133.29 per share on Monday.
The company surpassed its previous record closing price of $133 per share in February 2015. Apple shares gained more than 22% over the past three months or 15% year-to-date.
Apple iPhone 8 competitive features
Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski raised her price target on the Apple stock from $133 to $150 per share citing that the upcoming iPhone 8 is integrated with competitive features such as 3D sensing for augmented reality (AR) applications.
In a note to investors, Jankowski wrote, “Our updated installed base model suggests a very strong upgrade cycle. We have increased confidence that the iPhone 8 will include 3D sensing, among other major new features.”
This is a significant step-up in innovation vs. the prior two product cycles, especially when viewed in conjunction with the potential significant form factor change enabled by the move to an OLED display (e.g. removal of the bezels and the home button),” added Jankowski.
The analyst believes that augmented reality could be the next killer app to boost the demand for high-end smartphones particularly the iPhone. Apple is expected to release new iPhones with three screens sizes this fall based on the supply-chain checks by Goldman Sachs. Jankowski suggested that the tech giant will likely roll out an iPhone equipped with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, which will be sold at a premium price.
During its December quarter, Apple reported sales growth driven by the iPhone 7 Plus. The company sold 78.3 million iPhones during the periods. Market observers suggest that the iPhone maker benefitted from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall problem.
Apple to benefit from Trump policies
On the other hand, Oppenheimer analyst John Stoltzfus told CNBC that Apple could benefit from the policies of President Donald Trump. The current administration is proposing a tax cut on the cash that would be brought back by American companies from accounts overseas. The tech giant has $230 billion cash held in its accounts abroad.
Stoltzfus said, “We think that the market had originally anticipated a negative outcome if Trump was elected. But once we saw what happened on election night and the way that futures were indicating positive by the end of the night what we thought was this looks good.” He added that the markets certainly like the outcome of the election and also noted that the Trump administration is creating a business-friendly environment.
Furthermore, the analyst said Apple could increase its total cash to as much as $246.09 billion in the first fiscal quarter if allowed to repatriate its huge cash pile overseas.
Stoltzfus said, “Especially if the administration puts its influence on Apple to move its manufacturing back stateside, there will be offsets available for bringing some of that capital back from outside the U.S.”
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