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Sweeter And Sweeter: Apple $800 Billion Today, First Trillion-Dollar Company In 2018?

10 May 2017, 7:53 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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One analyst thinks Apple could be valued over $1 trillion by 2018. In particular, the radically redesigned iPhone 8 could be the one thing Apple needs to secure its trillion-dollar valuation.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Apple has now been given a price target of $202 by one analyst on Monday, May 8 — its highest ever on the books.

With the impending launch of the hotly anticipated iPhone 8 this fall, the Cupertino, California-based tech firm is only in the "early stages" of unlocking upside potential for investors, wrote Brian White from Drexel Hamilton.

Apple Could Be Worth $1 Trillion By 2018

White thinks Apple is "the most under-appreciated stocks in the world." At his target of $202, Apple would be valued at $1.05 to $1.06 trillion, based on the company's current share count. This might seem a tall order for some, but the numbers don't lie: as Barron's reports, Apple shares hit $152.76 on Monday, but before that, it hit an all-time industry high of $153.25 — momentarily giving Apple a market cap of almost $800 billion.

Apple's Depressed Valuation

Noting the stock's "depressed valuation," the eventual release of the iPhone 8 this fall and unspecified new innovations that could drive the stock price, White thinks Apple may have already survived the fears that surrounded its business last year.

"Apple's valuation has been depressed for years as investors grew concerned that Apple would fall victim to the missteps of consumer electronic companies of the past." But White added that Apple has proven its resilience through producing what's essentially a synergized ecosystem, a unique platform of its products: with the hardware, software, and services working "seamlessly together."

Needless to say, White reiterated a "buy" rating on Apple shares. On Friday, May 5, Apple closed at $148.96 per share. Suppose the stock climbs up to White's forecast — signifying a whopping 35 percent gain — Apple will achieve a trillion-dollar status in a year.

White's price target for Apple marks the steepest among 33 Wall Street analysts covering Apple, according to data from TipRanks. The average price target of said analysts is $159, with $120 being the lowest.

But it's not difficult to imagine that Apple could achieve White's price target and, in turn, the eventual valuation. Over the past 12 months, Apple shares have risen to 60 percent. For this year alone, the upswell is already at 29 percent.

Apple officially announced its Q2 2017 earnings last week, which didn't significantly surpass Wall Street predictions. While the reports showed strong demand for the Apple Watch and the AirPods, the iPhone slumped.

Investors, however, aren't the least bit worried. Warren Buffett in a recent interview praised Apple's buyback program for investors — and he isn't worried about iPhone sales at all.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 is on the horizon, and rumors suggest that it's going to be Apple's most radically redesigned iPhone yet. This is a crucial element to attract buyers. iPhone development in recent years arguably hasn't surged to a level you'd call radical. It's more apt to call iPhone upgrades relatively minor refinements or improvements. If the iPhone 8 indeed ends up offering something new for the iPhone crowd, then it's easy to imagine those who have been looking to upgrade finally will.

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