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Apple's blowout earnings keep it on track to be first trillion dollar stock, RBC analyst says

  • Apple will become the first company to achieve $1 trillion market capitalization, according to RBC research.
  • RBC analyst's official 12-month price target is $176, representing 17 percent upside from Tuesday's close and implying a market cap of $917.5 billion this time next year.
  • But the analyst believes Apple could top $1 trillion shortly after that.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple

Apple's blowout earnings report gave one analyst even more conviction that the stock will be the first ever to achieve a $1 trillion market capitalization.

RBC's Amit Daryanani predicts Apple will hit the $1 trillion milestone within 12-18 months. After Wednesday's surge, Apple's current market value is about $819 billion. A $1 trillion market cap would imply a gain of 22 percent from here.

Apple shares settled at $157.14 after the closing bell, up 5 percent from Tuesday's close.

Daryanani's official 12-month price target is $176, representing 17 percent upside from Tuesday's close and implying a market cap of about $917 billion this time next year.

"We think Apple remains ontrack to become the first company to achieve $1 trillion market cap," wrote Daryanani in Wednesday's note. "Apple should sustain an upside bias through and potentially beyond iPhone product launch."

Despite forecasts of a "lame duck" quarter in anticipation of the iPhone release, Apple handily surprised Wall Street's expectations.

RBC noted four big things from the earnings report that will be catalysts to keep driving the stock higher: 1. Better-than-expected gross margins 2. Growth in mainland China 3. Investments in "autonomous systems" 4. Its $262 billion cash horde.

Apple CEO Time Cook spoke with CNBC following Apple's quarterly beat.

"We had a great quarter, I couldn't be happier," said Cook. "If you look at the products, we sold 41 million iPhones but frankly it's better than that because we also reduced channel inventories by 3.3 million, largely because the sell-through was more than we expected."

Though Cook did not offer comment on theories around the iPhone 8 release, many bloggers and analysts have said that the latest phone is likely to see some delays, though most believe it will be out by November.