Apple Shares Hit $600 as New iPad Sales Run Hot

Apple‘s stock price hit a new high on Thursday morning: $600, indicating huge expectations for Friday’s iPad launch.

Shares of Apple hit $600 for the first time, boosting the computer and electronics developer’s market capitalization above $560 billion. Photo: Blake Patterson/Flickr

Shares of Apple reached $600 for the first time, boosting the computer and electronics developer’s market capitalization to $560 billion, according to International Business Times.

Apple broke through the $600 mark only 32 days after on Feb. 13 the company broke through the $500 mark. The run-up also comes as Apple prepares to release the third-generation iPad at retail, tells Mashable.

However, despite the new record, Apple shares closed $585.56, down $4.02, their third consecutive closing record high.

Reuters tells that on Friday the new iPad goes on sale in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, France and Britain, with diehards lining up overnight in front of Apple stores in Munich, Paris, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The iPad 3 is a progressive development of Apple’s tablet. It has a more powerful CPU and screen and better camera.

“My epiphany came when I placed my iPad 2 next to the new model, with the same text on the screen. Letters and words that had seemed sharp on the older model five minutes earlier suddenly looked fuzzier,” said one online reviewer.

“The iPad is already a pretty mature product and it’s hard to revolutionize it any further,” said Dickie Chang, an analyst with research firm IDC based in Hong Kong.

The iPad’s new A5X application processor, with improved graphics horsepower, is based on energy-efficient technology licensed from Britain’s ARM Holding. It is manufactured by Qualcomm, as in past Apple devices.

The iPad has a Qualcomm LTE cellphone chip and a Qualcomm wireless modem for 3G and 4G. Broadcom supplies a semiconductor handling wireless tasks like WiFi and Bluetooth, according to iFixit.

Apple has reported models of its new iPad, available Friday, are sold out. It also reports strong demand for iPhones, Macbooks, iPods and iTunes.

According to an estimate by Canaccord Genuity analysts, Apple may sell 65.6 million iPads.

They also raised their target price on Apple stock to $710 from $665. So far, the company has sold 55 million iPads since it was launched in 2010.

Apple Computer that was founded in 1976 and incorporated a year later by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, completed its initial public offering on Dec. 12, 1980 at $22 a share.

During the past 10 years, shareholders have had a nearly 4700 percent return on their investment. The reason for optimism is that Apple will continue to generate enough cash to keep growing.

There is also rumours that Tim Cook may announce some use of the company’s $97.6 billion in cash and investments, such as a special dividend or share buyback.

“Apple has become a favorite daytime trading stock for short-term traders. It’s one of the rare stocks that have momentum followers and that move on headlines that are not related to earnings,” said David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners in St. Louis, Mo., told Reuters earlier this month.

Despite the early morning rise for Apple stock, later the share price was down a bit.

Such volatility has become normal for Apple. Only the sixth company in history to eclipse a market capitalization of $500 billion, Apple’s stock has been an attractive target for investors looking for quick gains or losses based on the day’s news.

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