San Francisco • Apple’s stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors’ renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook’s ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs.
The milestone represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment since Apple’s shares reached its previous split-adjusted peak of $100.72 in September 2012. After peaking at $100.77 Wednesday morning, shares closed up 4 cents at $100.57, giving Apple a market value of $602 billion — by far more than any other publicly held company.
Apple’s stock had fallen to a split-adjusted $55.01 in April 2013 to wipe out about $300 billion in shareholder wealth amid worries that the Cupertino, Calif., company had run out of ideas without Jobs as its mastermind. The anxiety escalated as sales of iPhones and iPads slowed amid the growing popularity of less expensive smartphones and tablet computers made by Samsung Electronics and other rivals relying on Google’s free Android software.
Now, there are signs that Samsung’s devices are losing momentum while Apple prepares to release the next version of its iPhone this fall and investors wait for Cook to deliver on his promise to introduce a product that will open up new opportunities. The breakthrough is widely expected to be a smartwatch that will include sensors to help people monitor their health.
Hewing to its secretive ways, Apple hasn’t provided details about its upcoming products.
Anticipation for the next iPhone already is running even higher than the usual frenetic buildup. The device is expected to feature a display screen of at least 4.7 inches, an upgrade likely to spur many Apple fans to scrap their old models for a more spacious version.
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