Since Apple reported its latest earnings, its stock has been on a bull run, busting through its previous all-time highs. But perhaps even more incredible is that analysts are convinced that the world’s most valuable company is going to continue climbing higher.
A lot higher.
Apple’s stock closed yesterday at $136.70 per share, giving the company $717.28 billion market capitalization. The stock is up 17 percent so far this year. Google/Alphabet stands at $580.92 billion right now, and its stock is up 6 percent so far this year.
Analysts are casting a resounding vote of confidence for the company after it posted its first year-over-year growth in revenue in several quarters. Despite challenges ahead, analysts are growing excited about the prospects for the iPhone 8 this coming fall. They are betting that rumored features — such as augmented reality, a favorable replacement cycle, and a new design — will spell big things for the company.
Since Apple reported its Q1 earnings on Jan. 31, at least nine analysts have raised their stock price targets. These include:
- Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her target from $136 to $150 per share
- Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski raised it from $133 to $150
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan raised it from $140 to $145
- Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley raised it from $142 to $154
Of course, the thing about stock analyst projections is that they have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies in the short-term. Analyst raises target. Investors get excited and bid up stock. That’s generally okay for Apple.
But it also ramps up expectations around the new phone. The company will report two more quarters of earnings before we see the next iPhone. And when we do see it, analysts are expecting another game changer.
Naturally, Apple is accustomed to dealing with insane expectations. The company has an uncanny way of delivering. And for the moment, after a year of restlessness that saw drops in iPhone and iPad sales and in annual revenue, analysts are convinced Apple is back on track to do amazing things.