At $3-trillion, how much higher can Apple go?

Apple analysts just keep getting more bullish, with Bank of America on Tuesday upgrading the iPhone maker to buy on the revenue opportunity from virtual reality products.

The shares gained 0.4% in US premarket trading, with BofA analyst Wamsi Mohhan also setting a US$210 price target that matches JPMorgan Chase & Co as the highest on Wall Street. Apple needs to rise about 4% from Monday’s close in order to hit a historic $3-trillion market valuation.

BofA’s positive view is based on the expectation that Apple will launch an augmented reality/virtual reality headset by early 2023. “We view this technology as a game changer as it will enable many new applications which will require high-performance hardware and higher access speeds,” Wamsi wrote in a note.

The analyst expects Apple’s multiple to rerate higher ahead of an AR/VR product launch — as has been the case with previous major new products — and also sees capital returns remaining strong.

Analysts have been rapidly boosting Apple price targets over the past few weeks. On Monday, JPMorgan raised its price target to $210, touting the potential of the iPhone SE 5G model. CFRA also raised its target on Monday, writing that consensus expectations for Apple “likely appear too conservative”. And last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty cited VR products and autonomous vehicles as the reason for her price target hike.

Apple shares have surged throughout 2021. They have more than tripled since Covid first sent the world into lockdown early last year and underlined the centrality of technology for work, education and entertainment.  — Chiara Remondini, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP

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