Apple approaches all-time market cap record as investors await Q2 FY17 earnings

Apple’s stock price on Monday hit a new record at the close of business of $146.57, with the stock sitting less than a dollar away from beating the old market capitalization record set in 2015.

With Apple’s quarterly earnings set to be revealed on Tuesday at close of business, investors snapped up shares, driving the stock up just shy of $3.00 at the end of a busy trading day. Apple stock rose about 2 percent, and outperformed the market which was up less than 1 percent on the day.

Apple’s market capitalization broke $700 billion on Feb. 14, and currently sits at $769 billion, needing to only hit $147.42 per share to eclipse the previous $774.7 billion record. Since the start of 2017, Apple’s stock has climbed from $115.82 to Monday’s high.

An earlier notable peak for the year was hit on on March 20 was said to be on the strength of the next day’s product releases, which turned out to be an inexpensive 9.7-inch iPad, a (Product)Red iPhone 7, and an iPhone SE with double the storage. On March 28, Apple broke through a a $1,000 per share valuation corrected for the split.

Analysts suggest that Apple’s share price can climb far higher in fiscal year 2017. While some suggest Apple could climb to between $140 and $150 per share. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said in a research note that Apple’s Services arm is undervalued by investors, compared to other parts of the company, and between it and a “super cycle” in the fall involving the “iPhone 8,” Apple could see prices greater than $155 per share.

At the end of April, Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um has gleaned some data from Qualcomm’s reduction in earnings warning. Given that Qualcomm has reduced guidance by $500 million, Um wrote in a research note provided to AppleInsider that this roughly translates into 51 million iPhone unit sales for the last quarter —similar to the 51.2 sold in the year-ago quarter, and in line with Wall Street’s predictions.

IDC believes that Apple sold 51.6 million iPhones in the quarter. “The strong holiday fourth quarter carried into the month of January as the larger iPhone 7 Plus returned to stock across most channels in numerous regions,” research firm IDC said in its latest report.

Apple sold a record 78.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, but saw extensive delays on 7 Plus shipments, sometimes as much as 6 to 8 weeks in the case of “jet black” models, leading to IDC’s prediction.