Apple Stock Blazes To Record High Ahead Of Earnings, Video Launch


Apple stock notched its fifth record high in as many days on Friday as anticipation builds for the company's September-quarter earnings report and the launch of its streaming video service.

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Apple (AAPL) plans to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market close on Wednesday. Then two days later, on Nov. 1, it will premiere its long-awaited subscription video-on-demand service, Apple TV+, which features a lineup of exclusive, original shows.

On the stock market today, Apple stock climbed 1.2% to 246.58. In intraday trading, it hit an all-time high of 246.72. The consumer electronics giant has a market cap of $1.11 trillion, making it the world's most valuable company.

On Sept. 11, Apple stock broke out of a first-stage, flat base at a buy point of 221.47, according to IBD MarketSmith charts.

Apple Earnings To Focus On iPhone 11 Sales

Analysts expect Apple to earn $2.84 a share, down 2% year over year, on sales of $62.42 billion, down 1%, in the September quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Wall Street will be looking for data on the recent iPhone 11 series launch as well as holiday-season expectations. The iPhone 11 family of smartphones went on sale on Sept. 20.

Analysts think Apple will return to sales and earnings growth in the December quarter. Apple is seen earning $4.53 a share on sales of $86.18 billion in its fiscal first quarter, Zacks said. That would translate to year-over-year growth of 8% in earnings and 2% in sales.

On Friday, Cascend Securities raised its price target on Apple stock to 270 from 260 on signs of strong iPhone sales. It has a buy rating on the stock.

"IPhone 11 sales look better than we expected," Cascend Chief Investment Strategist Eric Ross said in a report. He noted that the higher priced iPhone 11 Pro models have show "surprisingly strong demand," driven by a much better camera.

Apple TV+ Takes On Netflix, Others

Also Friday, Cowen analyst Krish Sankar reiterated his outperform rating on Apple stock with a price target of 250.

He expects Apple to report largely in-line September-quarter results and give better-than-consensus December-quarter guidance.

Plus, the upcoming Apple TV+ launch should support longer-term services growth for Apple, Sankar said.

Priced at $4.99 a month, Apple TV+ features several high-profile new television series. They include the alternate-history space-race drama "For All Mankind," period comedy "Dickinson," post-apocalyptic drama "See," and news-show drama "The Morning Show."

Apple TV+ joins an increasing crowded market in internet television. Netflix (NFLX), (AMZN), Hulu and CBS (CBS) are among the current players. Walt Disney's (DIS) Disney+ subscription service will debut on Nov. 12. Coming next year are HBO Max from AT&T (T)-owned WarnerMedia and Peacock from Comcast (CMCSA)-owned NBCUniversal.

Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor companies.


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