Apple share price history in recent times
Ben Lobel January 28, 2021 8:13 AM
Discover the Apple share price history in the last few years and find out the key events that impacted its share price.
As one of the world’s most scrutinised public companies, the Apple price history has captivated investors since the technology giant debuted on the stock market in 1980. And today, the Apple stock price history chart continues to evolve as new highs are achieved.
Read on for more on the key events that influenced Apple's share price history in recent years.
Apple share price history
Take a look at the Apple share price history since 2011, from Steve Jobs’ medical leave through to the 2020 share price boom and beyond – and discover some of the fundamental drivers that impacted the stock’s movements.
A brief history of Apple
But first, let’s run through a brief history of Apple and how we got here. The journey began in 1976 when Steve Jobs, Steve Wosniak and Ronald Wayne collaborated to develop, manufacture and sell the Apple I desktop computer. The Apple I and subsequent Apple II (which could display colour graphics) sold well, with consumers admiring the ease of use, reliability and practical features.
Apple’s aspiration to innovate scaled alongside its revenues. In 1984, the company’s MacIntosh product was credited with being the first home computer to have a Graphical User Interface, with integrated screen and mouse. After the departure of Wozniak in 1985, Jobs resigned to found software company NeXT, but after Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 Jobs returned and swiftly became CEO. Apple achieved profitability soon after and began launching retail stores, expanding the product portfolio and ultimately revolutionising smartphone usage.
Since Apple’s IPO in 1980 the company has seen its market capitalisation rise from almost $1 billion on flotation to more than $2 trillion by January 2021. Today, the Apple juggernaut remains among the largest by market capitalisation in the world, with revenues of some $275 billion as of 2020 accounts. But how did we get to that point? Let’s take up the share price story from 2011, when the company was rocked by the illness of its pioneering founder.
January 2011: Steve Jobs’ medical treatment
The news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would be taking indefinite medical leave came against the backdrop of his 2008 liver transplant, part of his treatments for pancreatic cancer. He insisted on continuing as CEO, but delegated Apple’s day-to-day operations to COO Tim Cook. Jobs was to finally step down as CEO in August, but eventually succumbed to a relapse of his pancreatic tumour and died on October 5 that year.
PRICE MOVE: -6.4% on announcement
September 2012: Lacklustre initial iPhone 5 sales
After a slump following the death of Jobs, Apple stock enjoyed a strong start to 2012. January saw the company usurp ExxonMobil as the global leader in market capitalisation following sparkling quarterly results. But the stock took a turn for the bearish come September as the iPhone 5 sold only 5 million units over the opening weekend, far fewer than many analysts’ expectations.
PRICE MOVE: -8% over week following launch
January 2013: Growth prospects questioned
2013 would prove to be a tumultuous year for the Apple stock price, and the year began with a plunge as growth prospects were questioned following slowing consumer demand. Analysts also were forecasting Apple’s first profit decline for nine years, with many on Wall Street downgrading the company’s stock.
PRICE MOVE: -18% in month
April 2014: Favourable earnings per share prompts bulls
Apple revealing that earnings per share hit $11.62 compared to FactSet analysts’ forecast of $10.19 was ripe terrain for a bullish surge in April 2014. Strong earnings, pleasing iPhone sales, and plans for new product categories, completed the positive picture.
PRICE MOVE: +10% in month
January 2015: Bigger iPhone screens prove successful
A strong start for Apple’s 2015 stock price came courtesy of consumer confidence in the new larger iPhone screens, as the new extra-large and extra-extra-large versions – from that point the only two choices if you wanted to own an iPhone – contributed to a convincing quarterly showing.
PRICE MOVE: +8% in month
April 2016: Disappointing Q2 reports in challenging macro conditions
April 2016 was a tough time for Apple Its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales was accompanied by the first revenue drop in 13 years, promoting a sell-off of 11% over five sessions in the month.
PRICE MOVE: -14% in month
February 2017: Earnings show reversal of quarterly declines
Apple stock hit a new all-time high in February 2017 as investors showed optimism towards the redesigned iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. The bull run came just in time, as the company’s annual sales had faltered in the 2016 fiscal year.
PRICE MOVE: +13% in month
August 2018: Passes trillion-dollar valuation mark
Apple stock rose almost 20% in August 2018 as the month began with big news: a market capitalization passing the $1 trillion mark. The figure grew from there with the announcement from Warren Buffett that the influential investor had upped his stake, as well as a leak of the new iPhone XS apparently going down well with market participants.
PRICE MOVE: +19.6% in month
November 2018: Lacklustre iPhone sales and concerns over service offering
November began badly for Apple as early as the 2nd when shares fell 7% that day alone. The drop happened soon after the company released positive earnings boasting 20% year-on-year revenue growth, or a 41% growth in earnings per share to $2.91. However, the company’s forward guidance underwhelmed, with a slowdown in year-on-year growth projected.
PRICE MOVE: -18% in month
February 2020: Coronavirus pandemic disrupts supply chain and demand
As coronavirus multiplied in China and caused the country to lock down, it became apparent that Apple would see a significant supply shock as well as a heavy hit to smartphone sales in the Far East. Although store closures and manufacturing shutdowns and supply chain disorder were only expected to be temporary, the stock took price took a hit of some 11% in February 2020.
PRICE MOVE: -11% in month
August 2020: Announcement of four-for-one stock split
Apple’s announced a four-for-one stock split in July 2020, meaning an existing investor would receive three additional shares for each one they own. This had the effect of making single shares in the company more affordable and promoted bullish sentiment on the anticipation that the new price would encourage smaller investors to buy.
PRICE MOVE: +21% in month
September 2020: Product announcement does not include new iPhone
September 2020 was a tough one for Apple. As the year progressed beyond the falls of February caused by coronavirus supply and demand disruption, the sentiment held by many that tech equities were becoming overheated again began to take hold; the bearish period coincided with a Nasdaq correction at the beginning of the month. Not helping the company’s bearish trend was the mid-month product event being absent a new iPhone announcement.
PRICE MOVE: -10% in month
December 2020: Strong iPhone 12 demand
After the bears took over in September, with the October and November periods struggling to make up ground, December 2020 saw Apple’s share price rise back towards an all-time high mark. As well as iPhone 12 demand looking promising, there was also optimism among market participants for Apple’s autonomous car plans.
PRICE MOVE: +13% in month
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