Shares of Apple have climbed significantly this week, as investors buy into consumer excitement ahead of the iPhone 7 debut this Friday, hoping the next-generation model will set new records.
At one point Wednesday afternoon, shares of AAPL were up more than 4 percent for the day's trading. The company's stock was consistently over $110 throughout the day, marking the third straight day of gains this week.
Apple is trading at its highest levels in about nine months, just days before the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2 are set to go on sale.
Expectations on Wall Street for the iPhone 7 were somewhat subdued prior to last week's announcement, due to leaks revealing that the handset will have largely the same external design as its two predecessors, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6.
However, a few key reports have come out this week suggesting that preorder demand for the iPhone 7 series has been particularly strong. Of note, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on Monday that preorders for the iPhone 7 at his carrier are four times greater than the iPhone 6 launch, while suppliers in the Far East have reportedly indicated that chip orders for the iPhone 7 have come in higher than expected.
This week's gains make it clear that most investors are not bothered by the fact that Apple will not announce launch sales this year, breaking from tradition. The company told investors last week that because demand for new iPhones well outstrips supply, opening weekend sales reflect only how many iPhones Apple was able to manufacture, rather than how many consumers wanted to purchase.
Analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets also weighed in on Wednesday, in a note to investors that was provided to AppleInsider. He sees a few key factors pushing shares of AAPL higher, including the recent Galaxy Note 7 recall due to exploding batteries.
"Samsung woes with the Galaxy Note 7 could enable AAPL to actually accelerate their share gains, a dynamic we think would have occurred in the absence of Samsung issues, but perhaps at a lower magnitude vs. the current scenario," Daryanani said.
He also believes the average selling price of the iPhone should climb, as more users gravitate toward the dual-camera design of the larger iPhone 7 Plus. In addition, this year the Plus model has a $120 premium over the standard iPhone 7, up from the $100 differential seen in the last two years.
RBC Capital has maintained its "outperform" rating with a price target of $117.