Shares in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed at $111.25 in trading yesterday and then began Thursday trading at $111.81. While it has occasionally sputtered in a rise today giving back some of its gains, Apple is presently (1:23PM EST) trading at $113.07 up $1.82 on the day for a gain of 1.64%. Assuming that holds up, Apple will once again close at an all time high, despite many analysts suggesting that iPad sales will be dismal in Q1 2015.
Apple’s mad market cap
With its current trading levels, that represents a market capitalization of $663.17 billion which is nothing short of staggering. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) once had a market cap of $658 billion but you would need to return to September 2012 to have seen that. To put that in perspective, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s market cap is around $400 billion, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is roughly $375, and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s market cap is a bit over $140 billion.
This stock rise today also comes as Apple is set to pay out its quarterly dividend of $0.47 per share for those who held shares at market close Monday, November 10.
Much of this growth for the company came immediately after Apple announced better than expected sales of its two new iPhones which were unveiled in September. Sales of both the iPhone 6 and the larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus have been fantastic.
UBS price target increase
Apple also may have benefited from a price target upgrade from UBS Managing Director Steve Milunovich on Wednesday. He raised his target price from $115 to $125 on what he believes will be rising Chinese demand for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s products.
“The Chinese were more likely to want to buy an iPhone than in the other three countries,” he said. “The retention rate of Apple is by far the highest of any handset vendor. And in China, they actually prefer the 6 Plus, the larger phone, which is good for Apple.”
“Tim Cook has emphasized how important China is, and I think this supports it with some data,” Milunovich added. “China is about 16 percent of Apple’s revenue. Its margins have improved substantially, so they’re very close to the corporate average right now. So, I think the outlook for Apple for now in China is very positive.”
He pointed out a recent survey of 4,000 consumers around the globe—1,000 of them in China….either way, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to rise.