Boost from iPhone 6 Will Push Apple Stock to Record High

The iPhone 6, the next major upgrade to Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) flagship product, isn't due out until September.

But we've gleaned enough leaked information to project that it will bring in enough revenue and profit to get Apple stock back to its all-time high - $100.72 - and beyond.

So what do we know about the iPhone 6?

Other than its likely release date, the consensus is that the iPhone 6 will come in not one but two larger display sizes - 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches - than the current top-of-the-line iPhone 5S, which has a 4-inch display.

Apple misjudged the popularity of larger-screen smartphones, but the strong sales of such phones based on Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) Android operating system hints at significant pent-up demand for a larger iPhone - and not just in the United States.

Apple stock"This is a smart move for them," said Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael Robinson. "The emerging markets, particularly China, they like a larger screen. Forty percent of the smartphones sold in China recently were five inches or larger. So this larger iPhone really helps segment them, and it comes after the China Mobile (NYSE ADR: CHL) deal. I think this is going to be very successful."

We also know that the iPhone 6 will run Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, which was discussed in detail at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this month.

You can be sure that the iPhone 6 will be designed to exploit such iOS 8 features as the HealthKit app, which helps users track health and fitness, and iBeacon, which sends shopping information to a user's phone based on where they're standing inside a store.

And of course there should be the usual upgrades to the cameras, battery life, central processor, etc., that will make the iPhone 6 a very compelling buy for both customers new to the platform as well as those wishing to upgrade.

And there are plenty of current iPhone owners ripe for an upgrade. According to Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), about half of all iPhone owners in the United States are still using an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

A survey in April by research firm ChangeWave showed that 40% of early adopters were at least "somewhat likely" to buy an iPhone 6 - "the highest level of demand for an unannounced Apple model in a ChangeWave survey," Andy Golub of 451 Research told Fortune.

Now let's take a look at how the sales success of the iPhone 6 that will affect AAPL stock...

How the iPhone 6 Will Turbocharge Apple Stock

In the weeks since Apple outlined the new features of iOS 8, and more details about the iPhone 6 have been leaked, analysts have been falling over themselves in a mad scramble to jack up their price targets on AAPL stock.

Since the 7-to-1 Apple stock split took effect June 9, the shares have traded in the low $90s, near or below the target prices of many analysts. A summary of the action over the past few weeks:

  • Goldman Sachs: $102.86 (made just prior to WWDC)
  • Needham: $97
  • RBC Capital Markets: $100
  • Cowen & Company: $102
  • JPMorgan Chase: $108

Virtually every analyst cited an expectation for huge iPhone 6 sales as a major reason for their AAPL price target increases, most of which exceed the all-time high.

Cowen analyst Timothy Arcuri said in a research note that Apple could sell as many as 100 million iPhone 6 models in the December quarter. Apple sold 44 million iPhones in its most recent quarter.

Charlie Wolf of Needham sees the iPhone 6 adding $10.29 to the Apple stock price over the next year. Mind you, prior to the split that would have been a hefty $72.

Robinson agrees that the iPhone 6 will deliver significant upside to AAPL stock.

"I think the iPhone 6 could add 8% to 12% to the Apple stock price," he said.

Robinson also noted that while the iPhone dominates Apple's earnings, the company's dividend and share buyback program, as well as rising sales of other products, including new products such as the iWatch, will also help propel AAPL higher.

Even a conservative scenario has Apple stock at least edging very close to its all-time high.

"Apple stock is up 20% since the most recent earnings announcement. So, even if the iPhone 6 release gives us only half as much of a catalyst, we're still talking gains of around 10%," Robinson said.

Are you excited about the prospects for the iPhone 6? Do you agree that it will provide the fuel to drive the Apple stock price to a new all-time high? Tell us on Twitter @moneymorning or Facebook.

UP NEXT: When Michael Robinson looks at Apple stock, he sees much more than a maker of the iPhone and other tech gadgets. When he watched the events unfold at WWDC, he saw something much bigger. Michael says these initiatives will drive AAPL up by 50% or more...

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About the Author

David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.

Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.

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