Apple (AAPL) – Get Free Report shares are set to open at an all-time high Monday, valuing the tech giant at more than $2.8 trillion, ahead of its highly-anticipated software developer’s conference later today and the expected launch of its first virtual reality headset.
Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), slated to begin with a keynote address from CEO Tim Cook at 1:00 pm eastern time at the tech giant’s Apple Park campus, will formally launch a series of operating system updates, new Mac products and the likely unveiling of a new AR/VR Reality Pro headset expected to cost around $3,000.
“We expect WWDC to be another “flex the muscles moment” for Cupertino heading into a robust product cycle into the next 6-9 months led by the anniversary iPhone 15 launch this Fall into its golden installed base,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who carries and ‘outperform’ rating with a $205 price target on Apple stock.
“The brains behind Reality Pro will be powered by Apple’s industry leading M2 chips and another core advantage for the stalwart further building its iconic iPhone driven device family with this latest product,” he added. “We believe initial shipments given the high price points are expected to be roughly 150k units for Year 1 based on recent Asia supply chain checks.”
Apple shares were marked 0.92% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $182.61 each, a move that would extend the stock’s year-to-date gain to around 40.6% and value the Cupertino, California-based tech giant around $2.88 trillion.
“We expect the new headset to be the best in market and while it won’t be cheap, it will be Apple’s flagship device that could lead to potentially more mainstream options over time,” said CFRA research analyst Angelo Zino. “The new device will be powered by Apple’s internal M silicon chips, have a gesture-based control, 4k micro-OLED display, an external battery pack, and over a dozen cameras.”
Apple topped Wall Street forecasts for its March-quarter earnings, published on April 29, thanks in part to a surprise 1.5% gain in iPhone revenue and record sales from a host of emerging markets, adding that its current quarter sales would slip only modestly from the year-earlier level.
iPhone revenues of $51.33 billion, linked in part to the sale of high-end iPhone Pro models that were jammed-up over the holiday period, offset declines in Mac and iPad sales and helped boost earnings for the three months ended in March to $1.52 a share, a tally that topped Wall Street forecasts by 9 cents.
Group revenue was still down 2.5% a year earlier at $94.84 billion, marking the second consecutive sequential decline, a rate CFO Luca Maestri said would likely carry over into the June quarter, although he noted that gross margins would likely improve to between 44% and 44.5%.