The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) market cap is just shy of $2.26 trillion and up almost 80% this year. Some analysts believe the stock has much further to run. One has a price target of $160, compared to the current price near $130 a share. That would take the market cap to nearly $2.8 trillion. If Apple’s revenue handily beats expectations in 2021, that figure could well soar higher.
If Apple’s stock has done anything this year, it is outperform. Among the public companies with market caps over $1 trillion, it has done the best. Shares of Microsoft are up 42%, which has taken its market value to $1.7 trillion. Amazon stock is up 78%, which has driven a market cap of $1.6 trillion. Alphabet’s is up 27%, and its market cap is $1.2 trillion.
Most of the next leg up in Apple’s revenue and stock price will be driven by the iPhone 12. For a time, it appeared investor attention had moved to Apple’s fast-growing services business. However, the launch of the iPhone 12, with its 5G capacity, returned attention to Apple’s flagship product. The latest iPhone is considered a large enough step forward in terms of features, along with the rapid rise of ultrafast 5G wireless, that it has begun what analysts call a “supercycle.” Apple iPhone owners will replace their old models in record numbers.
That is the question. How big does the record number have to be?
24/7 Wall St. posted an analysis recently. On December 15, we reported:
According to a report in Nikkei Asia Tuesday, Apple Inc. plans to produce as many as 96 million iPhones in the first half of 2021, a year-over-year increase of nearly 30%. For all of next year, Apple has drawn up a preliminary forecast for 230 million iPhones, an increase of 20% compared with production in 2019 and near its record production of 231.5 million iPhones in 2015.
A surge in iPhone sales of that size would have been unimaginable a year ago. However, a year ago, a $2.26 trillion market cap would have been unimaginable. Five years ago, no one could have imagined any company eventually would reach the $1 trillion market cap. Now, four public corporations are above that, and Apple’s shares continue to rise.