Two months ago, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was on its usual perch atop the tech stock world. Things have only gotten better since.
On December 15, Apple had a market capitalization of around $370 billion, already making it the largest tech stock and the second-largest publicly traded company in the world behind Exxon (NYSE: XOM). Apple’s stock price was $378.94, well shy of its October high of $422.
Fast-forward to today, and those mid-December numbers sound as if they were describing a penny stock by comparison. As of 11:00 this morning, Apple has a market cap of $452 billion and a stock price of $490. The market cap makes the company Steve Jobs built the largest publicly traded company in the world by $50 billion. Exxon is the next-largest company, at $402 billion.
The $490 stock price is a new record for Apple. Seemingly every trading day for the past two weeks has brought a new record for the stock as shares have rallied 36 consecutive days.
Apple’s stock was steadily rising from mid-December through late January. But what truly triggered the tech stock’s meteoric ascent was the company’s jaw-dropping earnings announcement on January 24. Since then the stock has risen 16% in just 12 trading days. That’s the type of gain typically reserved for small caps, not a mega-cap blue-chip stock like Apple.
So now the question is: How much higher can Apple rise? The median price target among Thomson Reuters analysts is $582.50 a share, with a high target of a mind-boggling $700 a share. Considering the stock has risen more than $100 in less than two months, it would be foolish to doubt that Apple stock could eventually reach those lofty price levels.
However, Wyatt Investment Research analyst Andy Crowder says that in the short-term, Apple is due for a pullback.
“The stock is at a historical overbought level that the risk is now to the upside over the short-term ” Andy told me. “For a company that large to go that quickly from $380 to $490 – that’s what we call a short-term parabolic move.”