Apple stock is up another 30%, Citi says in new buy note

(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc. has room to rally another 30%, according to Citigroup Inc., even after a surge that propelled shares to an all-time high and the company to a $3 trillion valuation.

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Analyst Atif Malik began covering the iPhone maker with a buy rating and price target of $240, the highest among Wall Street analysts. The stock is already up 46% this year and closed Thursday at a record high of $189.59. It was up 0.2% in post-trade trading at 6:17 p.m. New York time.

Apple rose 0.3% in extended trading, putting it within striking distance of hitting a historic market capitalization of $3 trillion. The company closed Thursday with a valuation of $2.98 trillion.

Malik writes that the Street is underestimating the potential for continued gross margin expansion at Apple, driven by a move toward high-end iPhones, as well as further market share gains in China and India. He adds that the company is “navigating the macroeconomic slowdown and inflationary pressure on consumer spending by steadily gaining market share from Android phones.”

With Citi’s call, 68% of companies tracked by Bloomberg recommend buying Apple. Still, this is a lower percentage than seen for other megacap tech stocks. Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. have buy ratings of over 85% from analysts, while around 94% of analysts recommend buying Inc.

(Updates with post-market exchanges in the second paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the gender of the analyst in the fourth paragraph)

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