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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares touched $700 per share for the first time ever in after-hours trading on Monday, hours after the company announced it had received record pre-orders for the iPhone 5. Shares have risen almost 22 percent in the past few months in anticipation of new mobile devices from the company.
After announcing that the iPhone 5 brought in over 2 million pre-orders in its first 24 hours of availability, Apple stock prices briefly jumped past the $700 barrier on Monday. They also climbed to a high of $702.80 in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning, but were hovering around the $697.69 a few minutes after the start of trading.
The phone was available for pre-orders last Friday, and U.S. customers will be able to buy the device at Apple Stores, stores of AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and at certain retailers starting Friday. Including the U.S., it will go on sale in nine countries on Friday, is scheduled to add 22 new markets on September 28, and will eventually reach 100 countries by December.
Apple’s aggressive rollout plans are leading analysts to raise their sales and earnings estimates for the company. “The pace of this iPhone 5 roll-out is the fastest in the iPhone’s history and points to a big December quarter,” said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. Reitzes expects Apple to sell 45.21 million iPhone units in the December quarter, up 22 percent from last year, and said his estimates “could still be conservative.”
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said he expected Apple to ship 9 million to 10 million iPhone 5 devices by September 29, the last day of the company’s fiscal year.
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