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Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF) analyst, Peter Misek reiterated his Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a price target of $800. Mr. Misek cited the potential subsidy cut of Apple’s iPhone was much less than originally anticipated.
“We believe carriers will continue to manage the subsidy expense through various initiatives including a diversified handset selection and upgrade fee, however the subsidies are unlikely to be curtailed,” says Misek – as reported on Barrons.
Misek continues to see the next iPhone will have increased success, particularly among its top carriers AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). In Q4 2011, Apple had 7.6 million new iPhone users at AT&T and 4.3 million at Verizon. Misek projects that the next iPhone which is expected this fall, will have 7.96 million new iPhone users at AT&T and 5.1 million at Verizon in Q4 2012.
Essentially, Misek is attributing the next iPhone as the main catalyst for his $800 price target. Unfortunately, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not given us a whole lot of insight on the iPhone 5 so we still have to wait for more detailed information.
Besides the new iPhone, I think a few moves Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has already made will help propel the company. The tech giant’s new retina display macbooks will surely be a bump in sales after a few years of no real upgrades. Next, Apple’s store expansion into key cities around the world will help drive sales of its popular products as they are more readily accessible to larger populations. Some of the new locations include New York City, London and Shanghai.
Moving beyond Apple, I think another winner with the new iPhones will be AT&T and Verizon. If Misek’s projections do become true, that is a huge boost for these retailers as well. Not to mention, Verizon’s coverage expansion that went into effect today could also help the iPhone sales as more people are more accessible to 4G.
The bottom line here is that Apple is a Buy with a price target of $800, according to Jefferies. The iPhone 5 will be a huge source of growth for not only Apple but AT&T and Verizon as well. Not to mention, as these carriers expand their networks, more potential customers could choose the iPhone. A subsidy cut is viewed as less damaging than previously thought which is a good sign as the company may not experience a significant sales hit.
Disclosure: No positions