Riding high on 'better-than-expected iPad and iPhone sales', tech giant Apple Inc’s upcoming flagship device iPhone 8 could make the Cupertino-based company the first to reach and sustain a $1 trillion (approximately Rs 64 lakh crore) market cap, analysts have predicted.
According to a report in MarketWatch late on Wednesday, since the announcement of its third quarter results, the stock momentum has added $56 billion to the company's market cap.
Analysts from investment service company RBC Capital predicted that the stock momentum will continue as Apple will launch its flagship device iPhone 8 in mid-September.
RBC analysts said the iPhone 8 launch will create a 'super cycle' for the company.
"Apple has potential to achieve a $1 trillion dollar market cap and even surpass that over the next 12 to 18 months. We see upside occurring from multiple levers," Amit Daryanani, lead analyst on the note, was quoted as saying.
Those "levers" to get to $12 per share in profit are revenue increasing from new iPhone models, including a higher-priced premium model, growing services revenue helping to expand profit margins, tighter cost control and strong stock buybacks, the analyst said.
Daryanani said that Apple's share price would have to rise from its current level (about $160) to about $192 to $195, depending on the rate of the company's stock buybacks, to reach the $1 trillion value.
According to reports, Apple might release three iPhones -- iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and iPhone 8 -- in September.
With an expected price range of between $900 and $1,100, two of the three iPhones are expected to be more expensive compared with previous versions.
Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion -- up seven per cent YoY (year-over-year) -- for the third quarter of 2017.
With revenue up seven per cent YoY, the company reported a third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for services revenue.
The net income was up to $8.72 billion ($1.67 per share) from $7.80 billion ($1.42 per share) a year earlier.
iPhone sales were up 1.6 per cent to 41.03 million in the third quarter that ended on July 1.
The Cupertino-based tech giant sold 40.4 million iPhones a year earlier.
Apple saw a 21.6 per cent jump in the services business - the App Store, Apple Pay and iCloud - to $7.27 billion.
We also returned $11.7 billion to investors during the quarter, bringing cumulative capital returns under our programme to almost $223 billion, the company said.
According to The Verge, leading the way was Apple's iPad sales, which were up 15 per cent from 2016.
Hardware like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones were the highlights in the 'Other Products' category.