Apple shares closed at an all-time high Wednesday, the stock’s first record close since January, as investors begin to anticipate the arrival of new iPhones in September and with June quarter financial results just three weeks away.
Apple shares have lagged the market: The stock is up 9% since December, while the S&P 500 has rallied 16%. But the stock has been gaining steam and is on track for a seventh straight day of gains.
On Wednesday, the stock added 1.8% to $144.57, eclipsing its previous record close of $142.70 on Jan. 26. The latest rally has pushed Apple’s market value to $2.4 trillion, about $300 billion above Microsoft’s valuation of $2.1 billion.
Several factors appear to be contributing to the rally. Some analysts have noted that Apple shares tend to outperform in the summer quarter ahead of the company’s annual launch of new iPhones, which is typically in September. While Apple hasn’t said anything yet, the company is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 13 lineup before the end of the September quarter.
Also, analysts are reporting a recent uptick in Apple’s production orders for the new phones, and demand for the iPhone 12 lineup also remains robust. While Apple faces some tough comparisons in the coming quarters given the pandemic-driven surge in demand for both Macs and iPads, bulls sees the strong demand continuing for multiple quarters ahead.
In the March quarter, the company reported revenue of $89.6 billion, up 54%, driven by 66% growth in iPhone revenues, 27% growth in services, and increases of 70% for Macs and 79% for iPads. Sales were up 88% in China, 35% in the Americas, 49% in Japan and 94% in the rest of Asia.
Apple didn’t provide detailed June quarter guidance but noted that the sequential decline from the March quarter would likely be higher than in prior years due to a later launch date for the iPhone 12 and some impact from component shortages. The company said on its March quarter conference call that revenue would likely be reduced by $3 billion to $4 billion in the June quarter due to supply constraints.