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Apple stock hits new high as gadget rumors swirl

Apple's upcoming iPhone release and rumors of a smaller iPad have pushed stock value back up.

Ipad china 2011 5 27Enlarge
A man navigates through the new iPad 2 during its launch in the Philippines at an Apple store in Manila on April 29, 2011. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

Apple's stock has soared once more after a four-month slump, amid excitement over rumors of a smaller iPad and a new iPhone release. 

Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company, watched its shares hit $645.48 midday Friday in New York, before closing at $645.02, the Associated Press reported. That's a 1.4 percent from Thursday’s closing value.

The new stock price bested Apple's record of $644, which it reached on April 10 of this year, according to the AP. 

The share price sets the company's value at around $601 billion, Bloomberg Businessweek reported

The spike is due at least in part to a report by Jefferies & Co. investment analysts in which they raised their price target for Apple stock from $800 to $900, according to SlashGear

Jefferies investment bank analyst Peter Misek speculated in the report that there is currently an ‘‘iPad Mini’’ in production in China, based on his readings of reports from Apple’s suppliers and contract manufacturers as well as contacts in the region, the AP reported. 

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Misek also suggested that Apple will build 25 million iPads, both "Minis" and the regular models, this coming quarter. 

There are also reports of an anticipated September 21 release of the new iPhone 5, according to CNN and other sources, though all of these projected product developments have yet to be confirmed by Apple. 

Last quarter, the tech company recorded disappointing earnings that fell short of Wall Street's expectations, according to Cult of Mac. And though the sharp rise of its stock value is impressive, CNN Money pointed out that the company's gains on the stock market haven't kept up to its overall earnings. 

"That means Apple's shares are still relatively cheap," CNN Money reported, adding that the company's price-to-earnings ratio is far less than many other tech stocks, "including Facebook, Groupon and even Zynga (ZNGA), whose stock has plunged sharply." 

We'll just have to hold our collective breath and see, won't we. 

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Check out some of Twitter's best (and funniest) reactions to Apple's good fortune: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/120817/apple-stock-hits-new-high-new-iphone-ipad