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Apple Shares Surge to All-Time High After Dominant Q3 Report

Tech giant’s mountain of cash balloons to $261.5 billion

Apple continued its dominant run on Wednesday as its stock jumped more than 6 percent to an all-time high of $159.75 a share in early morning trading. It followed a massive Q3 earnings report for the Silicon Valley giant. The Cupertino, CA-based juggernaut beat analyst projections on revenue and earnings per share, pulling in a massive $45.4 billion in sales during the third quarter.

Expected to be in a bit of a “holding pattern” before its new iPhone launches this fall, Apple still sold a staggering amount of its hallmark product — 41 million phones, to be exact. A new iPad added to its coffers as well, turning around a trend of 13 straight quarters of declining sales to an increase of 15 percent in year-over-year sales for the tablet. And the Apple Watch (remember when it was the butt of all jokes?) is gaining steam, increasing its sales 50 percent since last year to roughly 2-3 million smartwatches sold, as one analyst estimated.

All of this is a long way of saying Apple is doing remarkably well at the moment. This is crystalized in its ever-swelling cash hoard, which ballooned to $261.5 billion last quarter. Its not apples-to-apples, but just for reference: Chile’s gross domestic product in 2016 was $247 billion.

And for shareholders, there appears to be room to run for Apple. Beyond its latest iPhone on the horizon, CEO Tim Cook hinted at a self-driving car project by saying Apple is working on the “mother of all [artificial intelligence] projects,” on the call. Apple is also set to release its ARKit this fall, allowing developers to create augmented reality apps for millions of phones. This is something Cook has been excited about in the past, and his tune didn’t change on Tuesday’s earnings call.

“I could not be more excited about AR and what we’re seeing with ARKit,” said Cook on the call. “This is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel at the start of it. I think customers are going to see it in a variety of ways and it feels great to get [AR] going at a level that can get all of the developers behind it.”

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