Pricey iPhone X boosted Q3 margins and created optimism for company.
Riyadh: Shares of Apple touched the $200 mark for the first time and neared a $1 trillion valuation on Wednesday, after the firm forecast blowout current-quarter sales and analysts said a September launch of new iPhones set the stage for sustained growth.
The company’s shares rose as much as 5.7 per cent to a high of $201.32 in early trading — within striking distance of the $206.49 mark that will give it a trillion-dollar valuation. Including Wednesday’s gains, the stock has risen 17.5 percent this year. Apple forecast revenue of $60 billion to $62 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating the $59.6 billion analysts had expected, according to data from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The iPhone maker usually launches new mobile models in September, which includes a few days worth of sales in the fiscal fourth quarter.
This September, the company is widely expected to launch models sporting full screen iPhone X-like displays along with other upgrades. “We believe Apple is likely to launch three new iPhones in September with possible lower price points, and greater segmentation could lead to YoY unit growth in C2019,” Canaccord Genuity analysts wrote in a client note.
At least four brokerages raised price targets on the stock. Independent Research continues to be the most bullish by raising its target by $6 to $226.
Apple’s pricey iPhone X boosted third-quarter margins and created optimism that a new handset with premium features and priced higher than other models would boost margins further, analysts said.
“We think the lesson Apple’s management has learned from the iPhone X is when you sell a smartphone for more than $1K you can sell fewer units and still reap the financial benefits,” DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte said.
Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones in the fiscal third quarter, half a million less than expected. But the average iPhone selling price topped expectations by $30, hitting $724.
Morgan Stanley analysts raised their fourth-quarter iPhone shipment estimate by 3 percent to 48.3 million and increased the mobile average selling price to $720.
Appley’s other products also did well in the third quarter.