Early reports of the iPhone X’s success combined with bullishness surrounding the company’s earnings have added $10.9 billion in market value overnight to tech giant Apple.
Shares of Apple jumped 1.5% Tuesday to an all-time high of about $169 per share amid growing optimism for the new upscale iPhone X ahead of the company’s earnings Thursday. The stock’s rise gave the company a market value of $872.8 billion as of midday trading Tuesday.
“We believe the changes in iPhone X (vs. previous iPhone models), to both form and function, will be a catalyst to drive many new and existing iPhone users to consider an iPhone later this year or early next year,” wrote a team of Piper Jaffray analysts led by Michael Olson on Tuesday. Olson raised the firm’s price target on Apple to $200 per share, and reiterated the firm’s “Overweight,” or “Buy,” rating on the stock.
Sales of the iPhone X won’t show up in the company’s earnings report Thursday—though there are reasons to be bullish about that too. Apple’s sales in China in the third quarter (Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter) also rose, according to research firm Canalys.
The stock’s recent rise is vindicating for investors who took a chance with the stock over a year ago, when prospects in China at the time looked poor and the iPhone X was little more than a rumor. In 2016, Apple revealed its first decline in annual sales and profits since 1997 due to declining sales in China. Investing titan Carl Icahn also sold his $4.5 billion position in the company, citing the company’s China woes and dampening overall enthusiasm for the stock.
But Apple’s stock rebounded from those lows in part due to strong iPhone 7 sales and potential tax cuts, but also due to expectations that consumers would flock to the then-rumored iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Still, analysts’ earlier warnings against buying Apple’s stock on iPhone X optimism still apply today. As Olson pointed out in his Tuesday note, whether or not the iPhone X is a big hit won’t be clear until Apple’s fiscal year 2018.
Apple is expected to post earnings after market hours Thursday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the company to post earnings per share of $1.87 on revenue of $50.5 billion, up 12% and 7.9% respectively from a year earlier.