Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) set a new closing record on Thursday, a day after the launch of the company’s next-generation iPhone and following positive predictions from several analysts. The stock closed the day at $682.98, a gain of $13.19, or 1.97 percent. The previous closing high of $680.44 came on September 7. The company’s stock is up another $4.37 Friday morning at a new all-time high of $687.35.
On Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook and other executives unveiled the newest version of the company’s smartphone, the iPhone 5, and announced other product upgrades. Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin on Friday and the device will ship to consumers on September 21. It will debut in eight other countries besides the U.S., add several others on September 28, and reach a scheduled 100 countries by the end of the year. Analysts appeared happy with Apple’s launch performance, giving a boost to the stock with their positive reports.
“We are positively surprised that this iPhone rollout is Apple’s fastest yet,” Barclays Capital said in a research note. “Given this pace it would seem Apple is very well positioned for upside in the December quarter.” Barclays raised its price target for Apple stock to $810 from $750 and added that the company will have a “unique holiday season,” also benefitting from rumored upcoming launches of an iPad Mini and new Mac computers.
The iPhone 5 flaunts a four-inch Retina display, runs on high-speed 4G LTE wireless networks, and is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4S.
“While it lacked the mind-blowing innovation we have come to expect of Apple, it is differentiated enough to maintain a sizable product advantage over its competitors,” FBR Capital Markets said in its research note to investors.
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