Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a long-time Apple stock bull, lifted his price target on the stock by $25 to $450 per share - the highest on Wall Street. On a best-case basis, Ives argued, Apple could hit $525 per share, a level that would take Apple's market cap well past the $2 trillion mark.
Apple shares were also supported by a report from DigiTimes which suggested MacBook Pro orders could "significantly increase" heading into the back-to-school season, based on supply chain sources that spoke with the tech-focused journal.
"We believe during 2021 Apple will be the first $2 trillion valuation given the 5G tailwinds and services momentum potential over the coming years," Ives wrote. "In particular, we are seeing a continued demand snapback in China during the month of June and early July despite some speed bumps and the stage is setting up for a massive pent up iPhone 12 cycle heading into the Fall in this key region as well as globally."
"The services business we assign a $600 billion to $650 billion valuation range given the increasingly importance of this key revenue stream that is getting a new appreciation by investors during this COVID-19 pandemic, as Cook & Co. continue to flawlessly execute on the vision," Ives addded.
Apple shares were marked 2.4% higher in early trading Monday to ti change hands at $392.77 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 32.2%. The stock hit an intra-day record high of $394.19 each shortly after the opening bell.
Apple will post earnings for the three months ending in June, its fiscal third quarter, on Thursday July 30, with analysts looking for a bottom line of $2 per share on sales of $51.5 billion, based on early Street estimates.
Apple beat Street estimates for both its top and bottom line over the second quarter, which ended in March, posting sales of $58.3 billion and earnings of $2.55 per share.
Apple said services revenues rose 17% to a record $13.3 billion as shelter-in-place orders attracted new subscribers to the group's suite of cloud-based offerings such as Apple Music and Apple Pay. However, it said a lack of near-term certainty has forced the group to start its second consecutive quarter without providing financial guidance to investors, although it did forecast a currency headwind of $1.5 billion owing to the strength of the U.S. dollar.