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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS
August 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Apple's stock price leaped to a new high on Friday amid rumors the tech giant is poised to hit the market with new versions of iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices.

Shares rose nearly two percent to $648.11 by the end of the formal trading day on the Nasdaq exchange, buoyed by a Jefferies investment bank analyst advising clients that the price could climb to $900.

The share price inched up to $648.85 in after-market trading.

The arrival of the iPhone 5 "will be the biggest handset launch in history," Jefferies investment bank analyst Peter Misek said in a note raising the target price for Apple stock and giving it a 'buy' rating.

Jefferies reasoned that Apple is positioned to take a significant portion of the profit to be generated by hot trends in smartphones, tablet computers, and gadgets linking to the Internet on latest-generation 4G networks.

The Internet has been abuzz with unconfirmed reports that Apple will introduce a new iPhone, perhaps with a larger screen, at a press event in September.

The Cupertino, California-based company is also believed to be readying a smaller version of its market-ruling iPad and a revamped Apple TV box, referred to unofficially as "iTV," that routes video or programming to televisions.

"We believe the iTV is in full production," Misek said.

Jefferies raised its forecast for iPad sales from 18 million to 25 million for the third quarter and from 22-25 million to 30 million for the final three months of this year.

Friday's surge in Apple's stock price demonstrated the powerful expectations for the next generation of gadgets from the culture-changing company, according to Wedbush Securities managing director of equities trading Michael James.

Investors also see promise in hot new Apple gadgets hitting the market in time for the year-end holiday shopping seasons, when the company's products typically shine, James added.

Apple has the largest market capitalization in the United States, with its stock giving it a value of about $602.25 billion.

AFP

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