APPLE SHARES TOP $300 AMID GROWING OPTIMISM
Shares of the iPhone maker rose 2.3% to close at a record $300.35, topping the $300 mark for the first time on a split-adjusted basis. Thursday’s gain was in stark contrast to the dismal start the tech company had in 2019 when it cut its sales forecast for the first time in almost two decades exactly a year ago. Despite the setback, Apple went on to outperform all other megacap technology stocks in 2019 with a gain of 86%, its best year in a decade.
The gains mean Apple now has a market valuation of more than $1.3-trillion. Investors are increasingly optimistic about it’s user base of nearly 1.5 billion consumers and its ability to leverage auxiliary products like the Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple TV and major hardware upgrade cycles for the iPhone and iPad every few years.
The company has also promoted its user base as a key to generating recurring revenue from services like iCloud storage subscriptions, streaming service Apple TV+, Apple Music and AppleCare. Apple is expected to release its next generation of iPhones that are capable of operating on 5G networks later this year. The company is also expected to release a new low-cost phone in the first half of the year. Apple shares traded well above $300 when the company completed a seven-for-one stock split in 2014.