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Apple shares closed at a record high on Monday, driven by investors’ increasing optimism about a coming iPhone sales “supercycle” and hopes its $230bn in overseas cash might soon be put to greater use.
It has taken almost two years for Apple to exceed its record closing price of $133 in February 2015, despite briefly breaking above that level during intraday trading at $134.54 in April of that year.
Apple’s shares have risen by more than 13 per cent so far this year. Quarterly earnings at the end of January beat Wall Street’s expectations, prompting several analysts to raise their estimates for how much higher the stock could go.
Apple overtook arch-rival Samsung to become the top-selling smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to several researchers.
“In our view, Apple remains one of the most underappreciated stocks in the world,” said Brian White at Drexel Hamilton in a note last week.
Morgan Stanley increased its price target to $150 earlier this month after earnings, in part due to strength in Apple’s services business, which could lift overall profit margins in the coming years. Citi hiked its target to $140, given stronger-than-expected iPhone sales and pricing for the holiday quarter.
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