Apple Shares Hit New High On IPhone 4 Pre-orders

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Shares of Apple Inc. touched an all-time high Thursday after pre-orders for the upcoming iPhone 4 exceeded expectations.

The new iPhone officially goes on sale June 24, but Apple started taking orders in advance on Tuesday. The swell of people trying to reserve the smart phone online and in stores bogged down Apple and AT&T websites. Prospective buyers quickly exhausted the supply of phones that were to be available for shipping on launch day, and Apple said it took more than 600,000 orders. Now, people who pre-order are told the gadget will ship by July 14.

"Momentum appears beyond our bullish expectations," wrote Shaw Wu, a Kaufman Bros. analyst in a research note Thursday. "Based on our analysis of demand trends and supply chain data, we are raising our already above-consensus estimates, which frankly we find remarkable as we are arguably still in a recession."

Wu, who has a "Buy" rating on the stock, raised his price target to $340 from $320.

Apple's stock reached an all-time high of $272.90 in morning trading Thursday before paring some of its gains. The stock closed at $271.75.