Apple shares pop to record high after company unveils AI software

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures during the annual developer conference event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S., June 10, 2024. 

Carlos Barria | Reuters

Apple shares popped 5% to a new record high of around $203 per share on Tuesday, a day after the company announced its long-awaited push into artificial intelligence at its annual developer conference on Monday.

Apple introduced a range of new AI features during the event, including an overhaul of its voice assistant Siri, integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a range of writing assistance tools and new customizable emojis. The company pitched the features as AI for the average person, though users will likely need to upgrade their iPhones to access the tools.

With Tuesday’s share move, Apple bested its previous record from Dec. 14. The company’s developer conference came as a welcome sign for investors who have been watching to see how Apple will capitalize on the ongoing AI boom.

Analysts from Morgan Stanley said Apple’s AI features strongly position the company with “the most differentiated consumer digital agent.” Additionally, the analysts believe that the features will drive consumers to upgrade their iPhones, which should “accelerate device replacement cycles.”

They said Apple will still have to deliver when the AI features are first available in the fall, but they think the “building blocks are in place for a return to growth and more sustained outperformance.”

“Following a WWDC that delivered on the key details we were focused on heading into the event, we have even greater conviction that Apple is on the cusp of a multi-year product refresh that underpins our OW rating, $216 price target, and $270 bull case valuation,” the analysts wrote in a note Tuesday.

Bank of America analysts were also optimistic about Apple’s announcements, and said the features will lead to “an upgrade cycle for AI enabled IntelliPhones.” The analysts maintained their buy rating on the stock due to the promise of a multi-year upgrade cycle, potential for gross margin upside and services growth.

Evercore analysts said they came away from the conference with “increased confidence” in Apple’s AI strategy, particularly because they believe it will push users to upgrade their devices.

“Restricting Apple Intelligence to iPhones sold within the last year adds to our conviction that AI can help kick off an iPhone super cycle,” the analysts said in a note Monday.

–CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report

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