Apple stock

Apple’s Stock Soars To Record Highs As iPhone X Hits Stores

Apple shares raced to fresh highs on Friday after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly results and its highly anticipated iPhone X hit shelves.

Shares added 3% in morning trading, opening at $174 apiece. That briefly gave the company a valuation of over $900 billion, solidifying its position as the world’s most valuable company and putting a trillion-dollar valuation within sight.

Investors have pushed the stock up nearly 50% this year, as excitement has built over the upcoming iPhone X and the company has come out with a string of blockbuster earnings reports. That marks a turnaround from 2016, when Apple’s stock was plagued by China woes and lackluster iPhone sales.

The tech behemoth has been teasing its newest smartphone, which is being released in conjunction with the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, for months. The $1,000 phone features facial-recognition technology and a glossy screen that stretches almost entirely over the front of the phone. It has done away with the headphone jack in favor of wireless headphones that are connected via Bluetooth.

Apple expects that the iPhone X, along with an uptick in iPad and Mac sales, will bring a strong holiday quarter. It’s calling for record-breaking revenue of $84 billion to $87 billion for the period ending in December.

“The guidance for December 2017 provided the substance of tonight’s surprise,” wrote Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures. “Tim Cook is giddy, and he should be.”

Long lines formed around the world on Friday, from London to Singapore to New York, as consumers waited to get their hands on the new smartphone. Even so, Apple remained tight-lipped on anticipated demand for the iPhone X, causing frustration among many Wall Street analysts.

“We believe investors’ main focus is on whether Apple can sell a $1,000 premium phone in significant quantities, something we won’t have a good sense of until later this year, at the earliest,” wrote Sherri Scribner, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. “Important questions were left unanswered related to the iPhone X adoption cycle,” added Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz.

Meanwhile, Apple saw strong demand for its older iPhones and double-digit growth in China during the quarter. Another bright spot for Apple has been its services business, which grew revenues 24% to $8.5 billion during the quarter, and includes purchases that are made in the App store as well as through Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

While bulls will likely be encouraged by robust across-the-board growth, the real focus in coming months will be the traction of Apple’s biggest release in a decade. “The iPhone X is of course the product that will make or break shares of Apple over the next year,” wrote Munster.

copied from forbes