After printing the tape just above $600 on October 26, 2012, Apple (AAPL)’s stock hasn’t come close to those levels since. After the closing bell on Monday however, the name topped the $600 level for the first time in approximately 18 months, hitting a 52-wk high in the process. The stock ended the day at $600.96, a gain of $8.38, or 1.41 percent. The price has since hit $602.80 in pre-market trading.
With the company’s market value steadily climbing — the ticker is up more than 33% y/y — RBC Capital’s Amit Daryanani issued a note [via AI’s Neil Hughes] to investors on Monday lifting its new price target to $645, up from a previous forecast of $625.
While it’s hard to identify just what exactly is driving the pps upside, given that there are a number of catalysts at play, Daryanani recommends that investors hold their long positions on AAPL, citing multiple variables ahead for the company. In particular, he cites Apple’s aggressive stock buyback program, “the upcoming WWDC in June, an anticipated “iPhone 6″ launch around September, and a new iPad refresh in the December quarter to help drive the stock price higher.”
At $600 per share Apple’s market cap is $518 billion. Only Microsoft (MSFT), ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM), Cisco Systems (CSCO), GE (GE) and Intel Corporation (INTC) have ever exceeded that mark.
Apple’s all-time high was $702.10, which the stock reached in September 2012.