How Apple Could Become the First $1 Trillion Company

Apple stock has more or less been on a tear in 2017, rising 38% and giving the company a current stock market value of over $820 billion. But even with the stock hitting an all-time high of almost $162 this week, at least one analyst on Wall Street sees a way for another big rally that would make Apple the first $1 trillion-dollar company.

Amit Daryanani at RBC Capital Markets says Apple’s share price would have to rise from its current level to about $192 to $195, depending on the rate of the company’s stock buybacks, to reach the $1 trillion value. With Apple trading at 16 times its estimated next year’s per share profits, profits would need to increase from an estimated $9 or so in 2017 to $12 in 2019, Daryanani calculates.

“Apple has potential to achieve a $1 trillion dollar market cap and even surpass that over the next 12 to 18 months,” writes Daryanani. “We see upside occurring from multiple levers.”

Those “levers” to get to $12 per share in profit are revenue increasing from new iPhone models, including a higher-priced premium model, growing services revenue helping to expand profit margins, tighter cost control and strong stock buybacks, he says.

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The prediction comes as anticipation is building among Apple customers and investors that the next round of iPhone updates could be particularly enticing. After Apple mostly stuck with the same external design for three years in a row, the rumor mill is full of leaks that the 2017 lineup will include at least one radically resigned model. Dubbed by outsiders the iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone Pro, the new phone is predicted to have a brighter OLED screen stretching from edge to edge.

Expectations for strong sales of the yet-to-be-announced iPhones have helped push the stock price to its current level. When Apple (AAPL) reported results last week for its most recent quarter, Wall Street almost ignored the past sales, focusing instead on what the company’s forecast was hinting about the timing of the next iPhone.

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