Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has seen its shares rise more than 25% in the past year, making it the best performing Dow stock in the index. As the result of many factors, including iPhone sales, Samsung woes, and the highly anticipated iPhone 8, Apple stock has climbed to this top spot. The market cap for this company is roughly three-quarters of $1 trillion.
On the product side, the iPhone iterations over the past decade have crushed most competitors, and the iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, as well as the products and services in music, media and apps, have all added to the mix.
Shares have been driven recently more by rumor than hard numbers. Although the company’s results for the most recent quarter were impressive, that information is about two months old. Apple set a record for iPhone sales, along with record numbers for most of its other hardware. Its forecast for the current quarter was good but not spectacular. It was certainly not enough to drive the stock up to present levels.
The primary driver of Apple’s advance has been speculation about its new iPhone 8, which is expected to be released in September. Recent versions of the iPhone have not been considered game-changing improvements over past ones. Also, they have not been considered strong competitors with the flagship products of rival Samsung.
However, Apple gained a lot of ground against Samsung this past year after Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 literally exploded and the company was forced to make a recall.
Also the iPhone giant had an excellent 2016 holiday season, thank you very much. In the three-month period from November 2016 through January 2017, Apple’s iOS-powered smartphones accounted for 42% of all U.S. sales a year-over-year gain of 2.9%. The Android operating system from Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google captured 56.4% of the U.S. smartphone market to maintain its lead over Apple, but Android’s share dropped 1.8% year over year.
Not to mention, CEO Tim Cook has also talked up how U.S. corporate tax reform could boost the company, and that repatriation of cash could act as a boost for M&A, higher dividends and share buybacks.
Shares of Apple were last seen down 1.4% at $141.14 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $147.61 and a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $145.46.