Apple Stock Tops $106

AAPL closed at a new high on Wednesday when it easily cleared US$106 to land at $106.88. Appleis stock has been climbing steadily for the past few weeks as excitement over the pending release of the iPhone grows. Investors and analysts are also eagerly anticipating other new product releases from the Mac and iPod maker.

Apple has already given consumers a rare glimpse into upcoming versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro by announcing that the display technology used in the laptops will be transitioning from fluorescent backlighting to more energy efficient and environmentally friendly LED backlighting.

Come October, Apple will release the next version of the Mac operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, or Leopard. Many analysts expect the features in the new operating system will help to entice more Windows users to switch to the Mac, helping to grow Appleis laptop and desktop computer market share.

Should Apple manage to increase its PC market share even by a small amount, that could translate into a substantial earnings boost. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster commented "In our estimation, an increase in Mac market share to 3.5 percent for the year would lead to an upside to Street calendar year 07 EPS of US$0.44 or 12.3 percent."

The company is also due to release updated iPod models at some point in 2007. Considering that the most recent iPod updates have been primarily limited to new case colors, the next updates are likely to be more significant, which will help to keep drive product momentum into next year.

If investors get their way, that momentum will help to drive Appleis stock even higher - setting even more new records along the way.

Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $106.80, down 0.80 (0.07%).

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