Apple celebrates its 40th year in the market

The company, formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976, turned 40 on Friday. Investors celebrated by sending its shares up 0.9% to $109.99, the stock’s highest close since Dec. 16, 2015.

It has been an up-and-down four decades for the company, with Apple struggling through an identity crisis in the late 1980s then surging to the world’s most valuable company after introducing the iPhone in the late 2000s.

As it enters middle age, Apple is once again suffering an identity crisis as it struggles to innovate beyond mobile phones and finds itself in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The company is at risk for its first ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales in the current fiscal quarter.

But the stock has held on to its dominating value. While shares are down 11.5% from 12 months ago, underperforming the 0.6% increase of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Apple’s valuation of $604.3 billion ranks it above Alphabet Inc., valued at $519 billion, and Microsoft Corp. at $437 billion.

The company has been criticized for a lack of innovation since Jobs died in 2011, but analysts are optimistic the introduction of the iPhone 7 later this year will help reinvigorate sales.

Earlier this week, Cowen analyst Timothy Arcuri said he believes iPhone estimates have finally bottomed after months of reductions, and that the stock is poised to rocket to $135 within the year.

Source: Market Watch