Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Apple stock: New product rumours help shares grow to market high

Apple's stock has nearly doubled since Tim Cook became CEO (AP)
Apple's stock has nearly doubled since Tim Cook became CEO (AP)

Apple's stock has touched a new high, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs.

The milestone represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment since Apple's shares reached its previous split-adjusted peak of $100.72 (£60.49) in September 2012.

After peaking at $100.77 (£60.52) yesterday morning, shares slipped three cents to $100.50 (£60.36), giving Apple a market value of $602bn (£361.5bn) – more by far than any other publicly held company.

Apple's stock had fallen to a split-adjusted $55.01 (£33.03) in April 2013 to wipe out about $300bn dollars (£180bn) in shareholder wealth amid worries that the company, based in Cupertino, California, had run out of ideas without Mr Jobs as its mastermind.

The anxiety escalated as sales of iPhones and iPads slowed amid the growing popularity of less expensive smartphones and tablet computers made by Samsung Electronics and other rivals relying on Google's free Android software.

Now there are signs that Samsung's devices are losing momentum while Apple prepares to release the next version of its iPhone this autumn and investors wait for Mr Cook to deliver on his promise to introduce a product that will open up new opportunities.

The breakthrough is widely expected to be a smartwatch that will include sensors to help people monitor their health.

Sticking to its secretive ways, Apple has not provided details about its upcoming products.

Mr Cook, though, has been raising hopes that Apple is poised to create a new product category for the first time since the iPad's release four years ago. "We've got some great things that we're working on that I'm very, very proud of and very, very excited about," he told analysts in April.

Anticipation for the next iPhone is already running even higher than the usual frenetic build-up. The device is expected to feature a display screen of at least 4.7in, an upgrade likely to spur many Apple fans to scrap their old models for a more spacious version. Apple's stock hit its previous high the last time the company increased the iPhone's screen size in 2012, going from 3.5in to 4in that time.

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