With Apple shares having recently topped $500, how soon might they hit $1,000?
That is an impatient thought for an investor, perhaps. But Apple shareholders have gotten used to fast gratification: The share price has doubled five times in the past decade.
Although Apple already is America’s largest company by stock-market value, there are several reasons to believe that it can grow much larger. But it is far from a sure thing, and prospective buyers already may have more exposure to the stock than they think if they own index funds.
Apple’s recent growth is the envy of most companies, large and small. Sales jumped 73% and earnings more than doubled during its quarter ended Dec. 31.
By one measure, Apple stock remains reasonably priced. It sells for just under 15 times the company’s earnings over the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is in line with the historic average for U.S. stocks and below the current median of nearly 17 for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
“Apple is priced like a slow grower because investors aren’t used to dealing with a company this big that’s growing this fast,” says Daniel Ernst, an analyst at Hudson Square Research in New York. More