Apple shares hold up to tech rout on strong results, metaverse tease

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

By Akash Sriram and Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) – Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) shares rose nearly 3% on Friday after the iPhone maker reported blockbuster results and teased its metaverse ambitions, holding out against a rout in technology and growth stocks from the start of this year.

If the premarket gains hold, the iPhone maker’s stock would snap an eight-day losing streak in its attempt to recover from what is shaping up to be its worst monthly performance since September 2020.

The world’s largest company by market value raked in sales of nearly $124 billion and profit of $34 billion – showcasing its ability to navigate a global supply crunch during the crucial holiday quarter.

“It’s worth noting that Apple is known for its supply-chain prowess and many wonder about the actions Apple has taken and will take to better position itself for this calendar year,” Third Bridge analyst Scott Kessler said.

Apple also teased its metaverse ambitions as Chief Executive Tim Cook talked of the company investing in the expansion of its library of 14,000 augmented reality apps, prompting strong investor response.

At least 11 brokerages raised their price targets for the stock, bringing the median price target to $188.5, according to Refinitiv data.

Apple’s stock has been under pressure this year from rate hike-driven tech sector selloff, which has also hit giants like Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:).

But following the quarterly results, Apple bucked the trend to become one of the rare gainers among the tech-heavy ‘s constituents before the bell.

“Still a lot of uncertainty about the tech sector, which remains very expensive and with the Fed overhang of possible further hawkish surprises,” Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard. (Graphic: Apple hits $3 trillion-dollar mark, then dips amid Fed jitters,

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