AAPL stock opens up 6% at new all-time high following earnings beat and strong Q4 guidance

Apple surprised most investors yesterday with strong sales in the last quarter (fiscal Q3) and better-than-expected guidance for the next three months, signalling the company’s confidence in the upcoming iPhone cycle.

AAPL stock opened up more than 6% at $159, a new all-time high, with a market cap above 830 billion dollars …

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The company announced sales of 41 million iPhones, 11.4 million iPads and 4.29 million Macs. With iPhone units in line with estimates (despite Tim Cook repeatedly stating that there is a ‘pause’ on iPhone sales due to rumors about next-generation models), investors were pleased by the sales numbers of the iPad and growth of Apple’s services business.

iPad sales were up 15% year over year, although revenue from the business segment increased just 2%. This heavily implies that the $329 iPad is a big hit, as iPad ASP fell despite the launch of the new premium 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Apple saids its Services business (which includes iCloud Storage subscriptions, Apple Music and App Store revenue) is now the size of a Fortune 100 company by itself.

Apple said it expects to report between $49 billion and $52 billion dollars in revenue for the next quarter, significantly above analyst estimates.

This suggests that at least one model of new iPhone will go on sale within September. It’s hard to say whether these guidance predictions indicate that the flagship OLED iPhone 8 will ship in September, or if Apple believes the 7s models (iterative updates to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus) will drive revenue.

Assuming the iPhone 8 isn’t hitting stores until October, Apple’s fiscal Q4 revenue guidance will not account for any iPhone 8 sales. The product’s contribution to earnings would be seen in the holiday quarter, or Apple’s fiscal Q1 2018.

AAPL’s stock price jump now values the company at more than $830 billion dollars, in market cap. The stock needs to rise about another 20% to $190, to reach the magical $1 trillion market cap milestone.

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