Apple Closes at New All-Time High
Updated from 1:37 p.m. ET with latest share price and volume information..
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As speculation about new Apple
Apple shares surged to a session peak of $648.19, eclipsing the previous all-time high of $644.00 on April 10. Shares enjoyed the lift following a price target raise at Jefferies to $900, from $800 as consumers clamor for the long-awaited iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and more rumors about Apple's entry into the living room.
"Based on July Taiwan sales data and our checks, we believe iPad builds for CQ3 have been raised from 18M to 25M and CQ4 from 22-25M to >30M," said the firm, which reiterated a buy rating on the stock. "We continue to think Apple will have ~15M iPhone 5 handsets by mid-Sep and the iTV will launch in CQ4 or CQ1. We remain significantly above St EPS for FY13 ($63 vs. St $52) and think the iPhone 5 will be the biggest handset launch in history."
The company is reportedly going to announce the next iPhone at an event on Sept. 12. There have also been rumors that Apple is preparing to launch a smaller iPad, dubbed the iPad Mini. Jefferies said it believes the iPad Mini is already in production and that there's a chance Apple could use the Sept. 12 event to launch it as well.
"Microsoft's Surface tablets, the initial success of Google's Nexus 7, and Amazon's upcoming product launches could be affecting Apple's launch schedule," the firm said. "These represent stiff competition vs. a likely lack of viable competition for the iTV over the next year. Also, an iPad mini would unlock demand in Asia where there is clearly a desire by consumers and businesses for a smaller form factor and a lower price."
Jefferies thinks both the Mini and iTV, or Apple TV, could arrive by the end of 2012.
"The iTV would then be in time for the Christmas selling season, but that would mean Apple having three huge product launches in a short timeframe and leave little for CY13 outside of the typical iPhone and iPad refresh," the firm said.
Shares have gained nearly 60% year-to-date, far outpacing the 17.64% return in the Nasdaq. Apple's stock closed the day higher, up 1.85% to close at $648.11 on 14.2 million shares.
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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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