APPLE SHARES returned to triple figures for the first time since September 2012 on Tuesday, as excitement builds ahead of its launch of the iPhone 6 and so-called iWatch.
After hitting a high of $100.68 in mid-afternoon trading, Apple's shares closed at $100.54 on Tuesday, its highest closing price ever when adjusted for June's seven for one stock split.
Apple's previous high closing price of $702.10, or $100.30 adjusted for the split, was on 19 September 2012, two days before the iPhone 5 went on sale.
News of the share price went down well with Carl Icahn, who bought a stake in Apple last October after his failed bid to take over Dell. He boasted on Twitter on Tuesday, "Believed $AAPL to be one of my 'no-brainers'. Anyone that invested at that time would be up 53 [percent] (including dividends)."
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Hubberty has recommended that others follow Icahn's lead and invest in Apple stock while it's hot.
"Apple shares do not price in upcoming hardware, software, and services innovation, in our view," she said in a note on Tuesday, speculating that Apple stock could hit a high of $120 in the coming weeks. "We expect iPhone share gains and growth reacceleration driven by larger-screen iPhone based on our AlphaWise survey and supply chain checks.
"We also see iWatch and new services helping to accelerate growth and expand margins. We see iWatch as an important barometer of the company's innovation capabilities under the leadership of Tim Cook.
"We are also encouraged by recent additions to Apple's management team, which expand leadership in key areas like retail, design, sensors and digital content."
Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 in less than three weeks on 9 September, an event at which it might also debut the mooted iWatch. µ