With the iPhone 8 release looming on the horizon, shares of Apple have been rising steadily over the past few months. This past May, for example, Apple’s stock hit a new all-time high of $156 per share. While things have settled down a bit since them — Apple’s currently trading in the $145/share range — some analysts are anticipating that it’s only a matter of time before Apple shares soar to even greater heights. In fact, one analyst believes that Apple could very well become the world’s first trillion-dollar company in the span of just 12 months.
According to a new research note from analyst Brian White (via MacRumors), Apple is one of “the most underappreciated stocks in the world”, echoing a sentiment that many investors have championed for quite some time. As a quick point of interest, Apple’s current P/E ratio is about 16.9. In contrast, the P/E ratios for companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon currently check in at 31, 30 and 183, respectively.
Looking ahead, White believes that Apple shares could very well rise past the $200/share threshold. In turn, this would bestow Apple with a trillion-dollar market cap.
“Similar to the bottoming process in Apple during the summer of 2013 that drove a strong rally into the spring of 2015,” White writes, “we believe the bottom in the stock during May 2016 and the upcoming iPhone cycle is setting up Apple to reach our $202.00 price target over the next 12 months.”
While shares of Apple may very well rise in the weeks and months ahead, reaching a trillion-dollar market cap may prove challenging given Apple’s ongoing share repurchasing program. This past May, Apple signaled its intention to increase its share repurchasing limit from $175 billion to $210 billion. As it stands now, Apple has approximately 5.4 billion shares outstanding, which means that it can reach a trillion-dollar market cap once its stock price hits $185.
Of course, the big catalyst in any upcoming appreciation in Apple shares is the forthcoming iPhone 8. As many analysts have already articulated, the iPhone 8 may usher in the largest refresh cycle Apple has ever seen. Not only is the current pool of iPhone users bigger today than it’s ever been before in history, the iPhone 8 may very well represent the largest technological leap forward the iPhone has seen in quite a few years. In addition to an edgeless OLED display, the iPhone 8 will reportedly include an advanced new camera, speedier internals with more RAM, improved battery life, wireless charging functionality, improved water resistance and much more.