SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) – Apple (AAPL) set a new record Thursday, as its market cap and shares touched on an all-time high. BlackBerry (BBRY) also posted gains - once again - and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) edged higher after snapping up Procter & Gamble's (PG) battery maker Duracell.
Apple rose 1.4% to close at $112.82, pushing the iconic computer maker to a new market cap of $661.67 billion. The previous market cap record for Apple was in Sept.2012, when it carried a value of nearly $658 billion, according to an International Business Times report.
Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks
The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple received a number of analyst upgrades this week, including one from Bernstein on Thursday morning. The investment banking firm upped the price target to $120 from $110. Another firm, UBS, also increased its Apple target to $125 from $115.
In the case of Bernstein, the firm cited expectations that Apple Pay will increase the company's full-year 2015 profit margins. UBS, on the other hand, pointed to Apple's presence in China, where it holds an enviable 84% retention rate among users, according to Bloomberg.
BlackBerry surged 7% to end the day at $12.06, continuing its recent tear over the past four weeks, which has seen the Canadian smartphone maker gain 33% from its close on Oct. 13 when it closed at $9.06.
For BlackBerry, the latest pop to its stock came after announcing it had struck a partnership agreement with Samsung (SSNLF) . Under the agreement, BlackBerry will provide its end-to-end-encryption security software to Samsung's Android smartphones running the Knox security system.
Additionally, BlackBerry also unveiled BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12, its new mobile security software that will work with a number of mobile operating systems from Google's (GOOG) Android to Apple's iOS. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 also aims to simplify logging into a company VPN without the need for security tokens.
Berkshire Hathaway edged up 0.53% to $146.29, while Procter & Gamble fell 0.98% to close at $88.60.
Berkshire investors were mildly pleased with the creative tax-free transaction the Nebraska-based investment firm pulled off in acquiring battery maker Duracell from Procter & Gamble. The deal, valued at $3 billion, calls for Berkshire to give Procter & Gamble approximately $4.7 billion of the P&G stock that it holds in its portfolio. In return, Procter & Gamble will capitalize Duracell with $1.7 billion before the deal closes.
Under this arrangement, Warren Buffett's Berkshire can avoid paying taxes had it sold those shares in the market at a profit. Additionally, it avoids putting pressure on the P&G shares that it continues to hold since it won't be flooding the market with roughly 1.9% of its P&G stake.
Procter & Gamble announced last month it wanted to spin-off Duracell or set it lose in a sale. And now with a buyer on board, there's talk that the Cincinnati-based consumer products company may want to sell more of its holdings as it continues on its path to streamline its operations and Braun may be next.
Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates PROCTER & GAMBLE CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate PROCTER & GAMBLE CO (PG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: PG Ratings Report