Analysts raise targets for Apple shares following blockbuster quarter

Thu, Jan 20, 2011

Finance, News

Apple’s recently announced earnings completely trounced Wall Street expectations. With profits rising by 77% and Apple setting quarterly sales records across much of its product line (Macs, iPhones, and iPads), analysts are adjusting their targets for Apple shares accordingly.

In the weeks leading up to Apple’s earnings results, a number of analysts began upping their Apple stock targets to the $400+ range, and following Apple’s blockbuster earnings during the first quarter of fiscal 2011, analysts are more bullish than ever on Apple.

Analyst Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. recently raised his target price for Apple shares to $400 from an initial target of $355. Driving Marshall’s upped target were healthier than expected gross margins and strong iPad demand. Indeed, some analyst estimates for iPad sales during 2010 came in at 5 million. Apple, of course, sold over 7 million during the 2010 holiday quarter alone.

“In our view,” Marshall wrote in a research note to investors, “Apple remains the best technology company on the planet with numerous catalysts on the horizon (e.g., CDMA iPhone ramp, iPad 2, etc.) with minimal business model issues (e.g., key-man risk with Steve Jobs).”

Next up, analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital upped his 12-month stock target for Apple shares from $420 to $450. Like Marshall, Reitzes was particularly impressed with Apple’s margins and record breaking sales across most of the company’s product line. For the next quarter, Reitzes upped his EPS estimate to $5.10 a share from $3.92 and his EPS for fiscal 2011 to $23.50 from $19.20.

Maynard Um of UBS was particularly impressed with Apple and upped his share price from $415 to $465 noting that he expects Apple to sell 30.73 million iPads in fiscal 2011.

via Mac Observer


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