Apple had a semi-blowout quarter — though, really, the story is about what’s happening in the next quarter — sending the stock to an all-time high.
The big jump means Apple is now a company worth more than $800 billion. It seemed not too long ago that Google might have a fair shot at being a bigger company than Apple when it comes to its market cap, but now Apple is on a steady march upwards. And that continued march means the company may be a $1 trillion company before too long.
Apple’s report, where it signaled a big fourth quarter with its guidance, sent shares up more than 5 percent in extended trading. On the year, Apple shares are steadily climbing. Shares had risen nearly 30 percent this year prior to this earnings release. This crescendo seems to be building up to the moment when Apple breaks ground as a $1 trillion company as the next quarter will more or less make or break the company, deciding whether or not it continues to be a huge growth story.
Apple is expecting to unveil a radically new iPhone that will look to unlock as much user demand as the release of the iPhone 6 when it increased the size of its phones. In the bull case for Apple, it may unlock even more. There are a lot of positive signals across Apple’s portfolio of products, like the iPad growing year-over-year or strong growth in its services. But the iPhone is, and for the foreseeable future will be, Apple’s biggest growth driver — and all eyes are on the fourth quarter this year.
Today’s big performance is building a lot of good will for the company as anticipation grows for the next quarter and the first look at the next iPhone. Apple has had to contend with a lot of leaks of details of the next iPhone. That has seemingly tempered demand for its existing phones, which means its core growth engine is stalling. If Apple can deliver — and that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — we may end up seeing the company somehow drive past the $1 trillion mark in the next year.
To be sure, $1 trillion is probably a ways away. Apple’s shares are up 30 percent on the year, but it’ll still require a significant climb if the company is going to cross that semi-vanity mark. But if Apple can deliver — and that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — we may end up seeing the company find itself adding that extra zero to its market cap.