Apple Inc. Stock Marks Biggest Share Price Increase Before WWDC, Fights Market With Software

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A woman holds her new Apple iPhone 5S after buying it at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district
A woman holds her new Apple iPhone 5S after buying it at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

As Apple Inc.'s Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) nears, many expect the company to fight back with software amid threats of growing competition shrinking its market share.

Goldman Sachs, an investment firm, believes the Cupertino-based company may still have the ability to delight customers and investors. The firm has raised its price target of Apple shares to $720 ahead of the WWDC event on June 2 and Apple's 7-for-1 stock split.

With Apple shares looking to soar even beyond its record high in 52 weeks, Analyst Bill Shope has upgraded the price target of the stock from $635 to $720 in a note to investors. Reports said Shope expects Apple to unveil "big things" at WWDC. He cited Apple will reveal "groundbreaking advancements" to its software products.

Shope said in the past, Apple's software-specific events have rarely attracted the same interest as in a hardware-focused event. But the upcoming WWDC could change this. He believed it is critical for Apple to focus on iOS platform differentiation to change the game.

Many expected iOS platform improvements would include smart home automation systems, mobile payments and personal health tracker. Shope saw these potential enhancements to iOS as "positive catalysts" for Apple's stock.

Goldman Sachs is only one of several firms who raised their price target for Apple stock after its recent gains. Wells Fargo Securities had changed its value of Apple share to something between $595 and $640. But Apple had exceeded the price target range on May 30 as soon as trading opened.

According to Apple Insider, UBS has raised its price target of Apple stock to $700 and expected many users to upgrade their devices once iPhone 6 is released in the market.

On its annual software conference in San Francisco, many expected Apple to release the long-awaited iWatch. According to reports, the device is likely to show new applications like the rumored health tracker and smart home apps.

Apple stock closed at $633 on May 30 or 8 percent higher than the previous month. Based on BTIG Research data, the rate is the biggest increase in Apple stock in the month before the WWDC event is set since 2010. 

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