Apple Reaches $600 for First Time in 18 Months

By TechnologyFOXBusiness

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares on Monday surpassed $600 for the first time since October 2012, closing at $600.92.

Apple has been gaining momentum, rising 17% in the past three months. On Monday, RBC Capital Markets increased its price target to $645 from $625, which may have helped push it over the edge.

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The company reported strong earnings in April, with a 7% increase in profit, to $10.2 billion. Favorable iPhone sales helped revenue grow 5% to $45.6 billion.

Apple also recently announced that it is increasing its share buyback program to $90 billion from $60 billion. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 8%.

Apple still has a way to go before returning its high of  $700, following the iPhone 5 release in September 2012. Shares were beneath $400 in April 2013, due to increased competition and concerns that Apple was unable to continue innovating.

This year, Apple is rumored to release iPhones with larger screens. Apple is also expected to be developing a smartwatch, known as the iWatch.

In an ongoing lawsuit, Samsung was recently asked to pay Apple $120 million in patent infringement damages.

Apple currently has a buy rating from UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Stifel Nicholas.

Apple will be undergoing a 7 to 1 stock split this June, meaning six shares are issued for every stock in existence.