Apple Inc's German units surged and its main New York listed is poised to open at a record that will value the tech giant at $900 billion following stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings and a robust forecast for its flagship iPhone X as it hits store shelves around the world Friday.
Apple's Frankfurt listing was marked 3.55% higher at €149.30 for 500 units, an increase of €5.12 from the previous day's trading and near the all-time high of €149.70 reached earlier this week. Apple shares in New York are marked 3.5% higher from last night's close, indicating and opening price of $174.00 -- the highest ever -- that would given the Cuptertino, Calif-based group a market capitalisation of around $899 billion, making it the most valuable listed company in the world.
The iPhone X went on general sale today, with long queues reported at Apple stores around the world, including London, as customers scrambled for the year's must-have gadget and seemingly shrugged off the $1,000 price tag.
Apple forecast sales of between $84 billion and $87 billion for the three months ending in December, the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year, a figure that came in at the high end of analysts' forecasts and put to rest speculation of production bottleneck and technical snags related to the much-anticipated launch of its iPhone X.
Apple also shifted 46.7 million iPhones over the quarter that ended in September, the company said, topping Street forecasts of 46.4 million, although average selling prices slipped to $618, continuing a declining trend. Still, net income rose 18.8% to $10.71 billion and expects is gross margins for the first quarter to improve by 5 basis points to 38.5%
"We had good success, I would say, through the different iPhones," Cook said on a call with analysts. "We tried hard to have an iPhone that is as affordable as possible for people that really want an iPhone, but may have a more limited budget." Just a few weeks ago, Apple appeared to be facing a rare stumble with a delay in the iPhone X launch and rumors of production problems that could limit supply.
TheStreet's Annie Palmer agreed, writing Thursday that the company is firing on all cylinders thanks in part to a big comeback in China.
"Quarter after quarter, Apple has struggled to regain momentum in the Greater China region," Palmer wrote. "But based on Thursday's results, that may soon be a thing of the past."
Revenue in Greater China jumped 12% year-over-year to $9.8 billion, marking a strong reversal from its historically sagging sales there. Apple noted that it saw a solid uptick in sales of the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, as well as Services revenue.
"The China rebound was broad based across the products," Cook explained on the call. "I mean we literally were firing on all cylinders. That and our new products give us great confidence headed into this holiday season that this is going to be the best holiday season yet."
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