Apple shares rally towards $500 mark after iPhone 5 sales hit 9m in three days

<p>Apple shares rallied over 4% in trading today, hitting a high of $496 after the tech giant reported record sales of its new iPhone 5 […]</p>

Apple shares rallied over 4% in trading today, hitting a high of $496 after the tech giant reported record sales of its new iPhone 5 devices (5s and 5c), which topped 9m in just three days.

The firm reported that sales exceeded initial supplies and as such online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks to meet the heightened demand.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that “this is our best iPhone launch yet-more than nine million new iPhones sold-a new record for the first weekend sales…the demand for the new iPhones has been incredible.”

The tech giant also reported to shareholders that total revenues for the fourth quarter is expected to be towards the higher end of guidance range, which means revenues are now expected between $36bn and $37bn as opposed to $34bn and $37bn.

Apple reports their fourth quarter earnings to the market in October.

Apple shares have lost their shine amongst investors having fallen over 40% from the heights of $700+ a shares a year ago to $388 just this summer. However shares have found solid support since then to rally as much as 25% over the past three months.

Shares are likely to face significant price resistance in the near future which may well cap existing gains. Resistance hurdles lay at $500-$510-$520 levels and it may well be the case that investors will need to utilise the firms earnings reports to justify taking on additional shares above this price, especially given the share price volatility over the past year and the tensions concerning a failure to break competitively into China.

Apple remains a stock to watch closely, particularly if their latest iPhone launch can re-inspire investors who had previously lost faith that the company had reached a near term peak.

If the firm can report revenues above that of $37bn, this will be enough to inspire investors that Apple’s products remain highly desirable and the company is back on a solid growth track incline.

That said, the supply factor remains a key issue to watch going forward. This could either be a case of Apple under believing in sales or customers over demanding its products. If its the former, Apple directors have a big case to answer when they report their Q4 numbers, particularly if this factor holds back the firm from achieving what now becomes a expectations boosted quarterly performance.

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