Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Future Looks Bright

the-futureApple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been doing great this week, driven upward by excitement over the soon-to-be-released iPhone 6, the rumored debut of the iWatch, and a glowing recommendation from Morgan Stanley.

AAPL Hits All-Time High

On Wednesday, August 20, AAPL reached an all-time high, peaking at 101.09 mid-day. The previous high was a split-adjusted 100.72 in September 2012.

AAPL closed on Wednesday at 100.57, giving the company a market value of $602 billion, which is substantially higher than the value of any other publicly traded company.

The record-breaking high represents a complete recovery from AAPL’s recent slump. AAPL hit a low point in April 2013, sinking to a split-adjusted 55.01 because of worries that the company could not thrive without Steve Jobs, who passed away in October 2011, and because of loss of market share to Android devices.

The turnaround shows confidence in Tim Cook’s leadership and a belief that momentum is shifting back to iOS.

The stock has risen 40.1 percent in the last year, nearly twice as much as the S&P 500 return of 20.9 percent. For the year to date, AAPL rose 27.3 percent, more than three times the S&P return of 8.4 percent.

For the past week, from end-of-trading Wednesday-to-Wednesday, AAPL rose 3.42 percent, beating the three major market indexes, which all hovered around the 2 percent increase mark.

Morgan Stanley Raves About AAPL

Morgan Stanley rated AAPL “overweight,” with a price target of 110. An analyst said the company is in a better position now than when it hit its previous high in September 2012. Among the favorable signs for the future were a low rate of institutional investment and Tim Cook putting new talent into leadership positions. The analyst said the iWatch is an “underappreciated market opportunity,” and there is the potential to sell up to 60 million units in the first year.

iPhone Loses Market Share to Android

Among all the upbeat Apple news this week, there was a news item that was not so positive for Apple. A new report from IDC showed that both the iPhone and Android phone increased worldwide sales in the second quarter of 2014, but Android gained market share (84.7 percent, up from 79.6 percent a year ago) while Apple lost ground (11.7 percent, down from 13 percent).

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