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Will the iPhone 5 Push Apple (AAPL) Shares Above $700?

The iPhone 5 comes out tomorrow. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) all but confirmed that suspicion last week in an invitation to the media for a “special event” next Wednesday.

The invitation simply says, “It’s almost here,” and includes two numbers: a 12, to signify the date of the “event”, and a 5 in its shadow – a thinly veiled, albeit clever, admission that yes – the event will be to introduce the iPhone 5, as most people had expected.

Media outlets all over the country have been saying that a new iPhone 5 would be the subject of Apple’s “huge announcement.” In fact, we said it ourselves.

Given that it wasn’t much of a surprise, Apple’s “5” teaser hasn’t done much for its stock.

Having closed at around $663 per share yesterday, AAPL shares are right where they were at the end of August.

The real push for Apple’s stock should come tomorrow, when all of the new iPhone’s fancy features are revealed. Rumors are swirling that an iPad Mini – an iPad with a smaller screen – could also be unveiled tomorrow.

Past iPhone and iPad unveilings have almost always given AAPL shares a healthy boost. When the iPhone 4S debuted on October 4 of last year, the stock bounced 13.5% over the next eight trading sessions.

When the company announced its new iPad back in March, AAPL shares shot up 11% within a week.

Going back even further, when the iPhone 4 was introduced in June 2010, the stock shot up 8.3% in a week.

You get the point.  

When Apple releases new products, its stock usually gets a nice boost.

The next boost could take it to an unprecedented level – $700 per share. Only a handful of stocks have ever achieved such a lofty share price, most notably (NASDAQ: PCLN), The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which just retook $700 last Friday after a five-year hiatus.

At $663 per share as of this writing, it would only require a 5.6% boost for Apple to get there too. That’s less than half the 13.5% pop the stock received after the last iPhone was announced. Considering tomorrow’s announcement could be a dual unveiling of both the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, a 5.6% boost seems very realistic.

But how much higher can AAPL shares rise? The stock is already trading within a few bucks of all-time highs.

At this point, it would be foolish to bet against the world’s largest company, however. The median price target listed on Yahoo! Finance is $742.50, with a high of $1,111 per share. Clearly, most analysts think $700 is well within reach.

Tomorrow’s iPhone 5 announcement may be the last little push the stock needs to get there. If past iPhone and iPad announcements are any indication, the stock likely won’t stop at $700.

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