updated 04:54 pm EDT, Fri August 17, 2012
Follows four months of lackluster growth
Apple again set an all-time stock price high water mark at the close of trading on Friday, reaching above $644 per share for the first time to close at $648.11 (and still rising in after-hours trading). The company's market capitalization worth also returned to north of the $600 billion barrier, at $607.54B. The rise is mostly on expectations for a new iPhone, to be announced possibly in September.
Investors believe Apple will round out the fall with a slew of new and updated products, including refreshed iMacs (and future Mac Pros), a new iPhone model, the overall iOS 6 update, an overdue update to the iPod lineup and perhaps even one or more new products or enhancements to existing services, like the improvements already showing up in Maps (which replaces Google data with Apple's own mapping data).
Concerns linger in the background over some high-risk issues such as the ongoing Apple versus Samsung trial, where both companies have potential product bans or large fines as possible penalties in the case, not to mention the numerous ongoing other legal matters on Apple's plate. Investors believe, however, that few of the cases (other than the San Francisco-based Apple vs. Samsung trial) will be finished by then, or that their resolutons wont hurt the overall health of the company -- and that Apple has plans for a strong product lineup for the holiday shopping season.
The company had previously reached a record high in April of this year, hitting just over $638. Apple continues to do record amounts of business in its mobile lineup, and leads the industry in profitability and growth. CFO Peter Oppenheimer told investors and analysts at a meeting earlier today that the company sees no limit to growth in markets like China.