updated 09:25 pm EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
Up 24 percent in 2011, 44.81 percent Y/Y
Apple stock (AAPL) broke through the $400 barrier for the first time on Friday, closing the market session at $400.50 on Friday and maintaining an over-$400 balance in after-hours trading. The stock had temporarily reached above $400 before -- up to a high of $404.50 -- but Friday was the first time it had closed above $400. The volume on the stock was just under 25 million shares, starting the day at $395 and rising 7.5 points or 1.92 percent.
Given the continuing moody economy and swings in the market, AAPL has had a strong year -- rising 24 percent since the start of 2011 and up 44.81 percent or $126 from a year ago. The company itself has managed to rise to a market cap of $371.3 billion, making it the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world -- even beating perennial favorite ExxonMobil (XOM) by nearly $10 billion in valuation.
Remarkably, the company's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio continues to hover below 16, while earnings per share (EPS) has increased from $15.50 in FY 2010 to an expected $25.28 or slightly higher for FY 2011. The fiscal year for Apple ends on September 30th, with results typically reported in mid-October.
With a strong lineup of new products on the near-term horizon -- either rumored or confirmed refreshes for iPhones, iPod Touches, MacBook Pros and now a possible iMac refresh all before the end of the year, plus a likely iPad refresh early next year -- and the company's now-traditional high margins, the company looks set to continue its run well into the foreseeable future. Consensus targets for the year ahead would see the stock rise to just under $500 per share.