Growing expectations for Apple’s soon-to-be-released new gadgets are the main reason why shares skyrocketed to an all-time high on Friday.
Apple’s stock rose as high as $648.19, surpassing the previous high set in April, before closing the day just a few cents lower at $648.11, according to CNN. The company’s shares blew through a series of record highs in the first four months of the year, but the stock was stagnant when Apple reported that its iPhone sales had plateaued.
Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek raised his price target on the stock to $900 from $800 on Friday, saying an “iPad Mini” is in production in China, according to the Washington Post, in an article originally published by the Associated Press.
His belief is based on readings of reports from Apple’s suppliers, contract manufacturers and contacts in the region. He now believes Apple will build 25 million iPads of all kinds in the current quarter, up from a previous estimate of 16 million, which did not include the “Mini.”
There has been a lot of speculation about what will become of AppleTV and a “mini”, which would compete with Google’s Nexus7 and Amazon’s Kiddle Fire, which retail for near $199. This is a clear contrast for the iPad, currently priced at $399.
CNN also ran an article urging people looking to sell their “old” iPhones right now, before the new iPhone 5 is released after September 12.
Apple has a market value of about $608 billion, almost 50 percent higher than No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp. at $408 billion, according to the Post.
The Cable News Network notes that if shares reach $663.68, Apple will become the most valuable company of all time, eclipsing the record Microsoft set in late 1999, according to Howard Silverblatt, S&P’s senior index analyst.
Apple is already the most valuable company in the world, but with a market capitalization of $607.5 billion, it is still shy of Microsoft’s record $618.9 billion, according to CNN. Microsoft set that benchmark on Dec. 30, 1999, at the height of the dot-com era.
Microsoft now trades at a valuation of around $260 billion.
This is most likely encouraging to companies likes Samsung and Google who are vying for a piece of Apple’s pie. While Apple and Samsung are attacking each other over patents, Motorola, acquired by Google, is addressing alleged patent infringement concerning Wi-Fi signaling.
According to the Telegraph, the firm was already part of the smartphone industry’s patent wars when Google bought it a year ago, in a deal that went through in May. It has been in dispute with Apple since 2010, when licensing talks failed.