Apple shareholders have good reason to smile.
The Cupertino-based hardware giant’s stock (AAPL) cruised to the $600 mark in late afternoon trading Monday, the first time time it has hit that coveted position since 2012. That has lifted the company to a $517.66 billion valuation on the public markets.
Apple’s stock peaked in September of 2012 at $702.10. Since that time, the company has dealt with a few unsavory issues which prompted Apple watchers to say the company was losing its way: the botched rollout of Apple Maps, production problems at some of its contractors’ facilities in China, the lack of any major new product categories.
Those burps proved to be short lived. About this time last year, Apple’s stock was trading at $390.53, and has continued upward for the better part of 2014. Apple also announced plans for a 7-to-1 stock split during its quarterly earnings report last week.
It is still the largest company in the world by market capitalization, surpassing Exxon Mobile (XOM) by a comfortable $73 billion.
Apple, of course, did not respond for comment.
News of the stock climb had analysts wondering whether Apple was gearing for a major release of new products, like its rumored iWatch.
“It’s curious. There has been enthusiasm recently by shareholders since the stock price started to go up. For a longtime it was depressed,” said Brian Blau, a research director of consumer technology at Gartner.
Does this mean Apple would use this period as a time to release a slew of game-changing technology?
“You’re starting to see that something will happen soon. The question is: What is the next big tech disrupter from Apple?” Blaue said.
R. “Ray” Wang, an analyst at Constellation Research, said the climbing stock price is a momentum Apple can build on.
“If you look at profit and marketshare, Apple is already there,” Wang said.
We’ll have to wait until Apple’s next Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) to see if the rumors pan out. Until then, enjoy the stock ride, AAPL owners.