Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu recently did an about face and upped his target price for Apple stock up to $152. His previous target was $120.
Some of the factors playing into Wu’s new and more Bullish outlook on Apple include the upcoming WWDC conference in June, a new iPhone model, and the impending launch of Snow Leapord. That’s all well and good, but Wu’s recent report exemplifies the problem I have with analysts, namely that the information he bases his report on isn’t new and is already well-known.
Analysts routinely manipulate information for their own ends, with no semblance of actually evaluating a company on its own merits. For example, if an analyst is bearish on a stock, he will say that an upcoming product is already cooked into the stock price. If an analyst is bullish on a stock, he will simply state the obvious (as Wu does here). This isn’t to say that Wu is off-base, but merely to point out that analyst opinions should always be looked at with a very discerning eye.
With Apple’s earnings conference call just over a week a way, a number of analysts are taking the time to re-evaluate their stance on Apple.
Just recently, Credit Suisse upped its projected 2Q EPS for Apple in addition to raising its price target for the stock up to $133.
Barclays Capital also recently raised its target price for Apple from $113 to $143. Barclays’ report was largely based on the assumption that Apple would soon be offering a more diverse lineup of iPhones in addition to the release of an ultra-portable device. This is somewhat interesting considering a report earlier today from the China Times which suggests that Apple is poised to release 3 iPhone models in the coming weeks. Also, the Wall Street Journal reported late last week that Steve Jobs continues to be involved in the development of an ultra-portable device whose size lies somewhere in between an iPhone and a MacBook. Barclays certainly seems to be on the ball.
Meanwhile, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky maintains an extremely bearish $70 price target on Apple Stock. His rationale, however, leaves a lot to be desired and is hard to take seriously. I take him to task over here.