Apple Stock Hits Another Record, Helped By Services Business

Apple (AAPL) stock touched its second record intraday high in as many days on Tuesday following news related to the company’s fast-growing services business.

X At one point in Tuesday’s session, Apple reached an all-time intraday high of 183.49. Apple bulls believe the company soon will be the first to reach a market value of $1 trillion. It currently has a market cap of $923 billion.

Apple shares, though, ended the day down 1% to 179.97 on the stock market today, breaking a string of three straight daily gains. But it maintained its position in the buy territory it first entered in mid-December after completing a six-week flat base. Since mid-December, shares have fluctuated, hitting a bottom of 150.24 on Feb. 9.

On Monday, Apple’s services head Eddy Cue said the company’s subscription streaming music service, Apple Music, has reached 38 million paying subscribers and has over 8 million people currently on free trials. Apple Music has added 2 million subscribers in just the past month. Cue was speaking at the South by Southwest Conference, also known as SXSW, in Austin, Texas.

Apple Music still has a way to go to catch up with market leader Spotify, which had 71 million paying subscribers as of the end of 2017.

Launched in June 2015, Apple Music costs $9.99 for a standard plan, which gives customers access to 45 million music tracks on demand without advertisements. It offers new subscribers a three-month free trial.

Apple on Monday also announced plans to acquire digital magazine subscription service Texture. Called “the Netflix (NFLX) of magazines,” Texture gives subscribers access to over 200 magazines for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. Popular magazines on the service include Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, People, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

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Speaking at SXSW, Cue said the Texture acquisition is part of the company’s Apple News venture to curate quality journalism content from trusted sources.

In other comments at the show, Cue said Apple is not interested in buying Netflix or a movie studio like Walt Disney (DIS) to quickly get into the video content game.

Apple doesn’t have a history of making huge acquisitions or buying businesses that already exist at a large scale, Cue said. It prefers to buy smaller companies that could lead to the next big thing, he said.

Apple’s services unit generated sales of $8.47 billion in the December quarter, up 18% year over year and accounting for nearly 10% of total sales. The services unit includes Apple Music, Apple Pay, App Store, AppleCare, iCloud and other offerings.


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