Apple Shares Rise on iPhone Sales Projection

Apple shares jumped 3.5 percent in pre-market trading Wednesday after the company projected sales that suggest consumers are still snapping up the company’s high-end iPhones even as updated models are on the horizon, Bloomberg writes.

Apple said on Tuesday it expects fiscal fourth-quarter revenue between $60 billion and $62 billion. Analysts were looking for $59.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fiscal third-quarter results also beat Wall Street expectations, at one point sending the shares to $198 in extended trading, a record price if the increase holds through Wednesday.

Apple’s stock gained 12 percent this year though Tuesday’s close, before the results were announced, putting the iPhone maker on a path to become the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1 trillion.

“These results and guidance will increase investor confidence. We expect the vast majority of Apple’s product line-up to be refreshed during the next couple of quarters which should support near-term results,” Shannon Cross of Cross Research wrote in a note to investors.

The iPhone is still Apple’s most-important product, accounting for about 60 percent of revenue. While unit sales have slowed recently, the company is building digital services and a suite of other gadgets around the device. Those newer businesses, along with higher iPhone prices, have supported revenue growth.

Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter outlook is closely watched because this is usually the period when the company unveils new iPhones. The company is expected to launch three new phones later this year, and that has raised Wall Street expectations for more sales and profit.

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