Apple crossed the $100 per share threshold during heavy pre-market trading this morning.
Investors are reacting to Apple's strong numbers for its second quarter, as revealed last night. The stock rose 6.5 per cent yesterday after Apple confirmed its net income soared 88 per cent in the quarter.
Apple watchers could observe that the quarter was remarkably quiet for the company, with few new product releases to stimulate sales and confirmed delays in shipping Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard'.
This didn't impact on company performance. Mac and iPod sales remained steady and the company confirmed the strongest March quarter in its corporate history.
Quarterly revenue reached $5.26 billion while its net quarterly profit reached $770 million. Apple shipped 1,517,000 Macs and 10,549,000 iPods in the quarter. This shows Mac sales up 36 per cent and iPod sales up 24 per cent, year-on-year.
“The Mac is clearly gaining market share, with sales growing 36 percent – more than three times the industry growth rate,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.
“We’re very excited about the upcoming launch of iPhone in late June, and are also hard at work on some other amazing new products in our pipeline,” he promised.
Investors are also buying into market expectation that Apple's iPhone will achieve impressive sales from the moment it launches in June.
Apple is aiming to sell ten million of these devices within 12 months of launch, and recent consumer surveys suggest the company will easily achieve this in the US alone.
October's Leopard release, new Macs now appearing in the company's product road map and upgrades to its popular iLife suite are also likely to stimulate sales.
News that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has chosen not to press charges against Apple or its chief executive over the stock options grants backdating fiasco has also reassured the market, slightly, though a Department of Justice investigation is ongoing.
Apple's stellar results and potential future sales drivers have prompted analysts across the board to raise their target price on Apple stock.
Deutsche Bank and Piper Jaffray increased estimates to $140, UBS to $133, Goldman Sachs to $120, and Prudential Equity Group to $115.
Apple is forecasting sales this quarter of $5.1 billion and profit of 66 cents a share. The company's stock stands at $101.82 on pre-market trading at time of writing.