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Apple's mixed reality headset announcement sends Unity stock soaring

Unity Software (U) stock soared on Monday, rising nearly 20% into the close after a shoutout during Apple's (AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference.

Unity's gaming software will be used in Apple's new mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, Apple announced on Monday.

"We know there is a community of developers who have been building incredible 3D apps for years," Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations said during the WWDC presentation. And today we are excited to share that we've been working with Unity to bring those apps to Vision Pro. So popular Unity-based games and apps can gain full access to vision OS features such as pass-through, high-resolution renderings, and native gestures."

Volume in Unity stock shot up to more than triple the 20-day moving average as the stock had its best intraday performance since November 10.

Unity operates a cross-platform game engine that was first discussed at an Apple WWDC in 2005 in regard to the Mac. The company went public in 2020 and the stock was bought up to nearly $200 a share during the 2021 tech surge in stocks. Ark Innovation Founder Cathie Wood is a shareholder. Unity is the 15th largest holding in Ark's flagship fund, the Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), and represents 3.46% of the total portfolio.

"We've been building towards this moment for years," Mike Rockwell, vice president of the technology development group at Apple, said during Monday's presentation. "Our work together with Unity to deeply support their tools combined with the World-class rendering of vision OS and powerful displays makes Apple Vision Pro an incredible platform for game developers."

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: The new Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 05, 2023 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC23 developer conference with the announcement of the new Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The new Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 05, 2023, in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On May 10, Unity reported first-quarter earnings that beat Street estimates for revenue while posting a wider-than-expected loss per share. Unity reported first-quarter revenue of $500.36 million compared to Wall Street estimates for $477.67, per Bloomberg data. Unity's adjusted earnings per share loss of $0.09 was more than the $0.01 the Street had been expecting.

Like others in the gaming sector, Unity spent its first quarter earnings call positioning itself as an AI winner.

"AI is going to have a profound effect on the industry," Unity CEO John S. Riccitiello said on the company's earnings call. "First, it's going to lead to inflection up in growth as game types are built that were no longer — were not previously possible. And secondly, we're going to see, I believe, some of the crazy expense that goes on in some high-end production come down some. It's a favorable part for the game industry for growth. And I guess it'd be very favorable for Unity as we drive some of these changes through the industry."

Josh is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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