Apple Inc. (AAPL) Gets A Price Target Boost From Sterne Agee

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Gets A Price Target Boost From Sterne Agee
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We earlier reported that Goldman Sachs has been the only sell-side firm to upgrade Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s price target. Goldman upgrade the price target from $790 to $810 a share. Goldman’s upgrade was based upon the faster than expected roll out date. They had initially been scared that the iPhone 5 would be delayed due to shortages from manufacturers. However, after yesterday’s big event, the fear has subsided.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Gets A Price Target Boost From Sterne Agee

More sell-side reports are coming out, but it appears all the analysts are maintaining their price targest on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. has just joined Goldman and updated their target price as well.

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The analysts at Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. note what many other analysts have stated: While there were few big surprises given fairly comprehensive press and analyst coverage ahead of the event, they nonetheless believe the iPhone 5 by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a significant upgrade and will drive a powerful product cycle. Timing is sooner than expected with shipments beginning on Sept. 21. They are raising their estimates and PT but believe Dec. quarter upside could be limited by supply constraints on new in-cell touchscreens.

The analysts at Sterne Agee  believe that the iPhone 5 will drive a powerful product cycle, and put a lot of pressure on competitors, where it will incrementally capture a portion of customers attracted to Android/Windows smart phones with larger screens and/or 4G LTE wireless. This is the first Apple phone which has a 4G capacity.

But, the key issue is timing. Timing is sooner than expected as most analysts didn’t model shipments until the December quarter. As a result, they are raising their September quarter iPhone forecast to 26 million units (from 23 million).

They are also slightly raising December iPhone sales forecast, and raising their Mac Forecast but lowering their iPAD forecasts, to 16.5 million units (from 18 million) due to supplier checks indicating more conservative build plans ahead of a potential iPad mini, as well as a likely minor iPad refresh, with a new 9-pin connector (from 30-pin). CLSA analysts also mentioned that if the new iPad mini was indeed true (some had suspected it was a rumor), sales for iPhone 5s would be lower.

For the September quarter, they are now at $36 billion in revenue and $8.65 in EPS (from $34.5 billion and $8.37 in EPS) vs. consensus at $34.8 billion and $8.42 in EPS and guidance at $34 billion and $7.65 in EPS.

For FY12, $156.6 billion and $44.11 in EPS (from $155.1 billion and $43.83 in EPS) vs. consensus at $155.4 billion and $43.96 in EPS and for FY13, $191.4 billion and $51.20 in EPS (from $187 billion and $50.00 in EPS) vs. consensus at $192.2 billion and $52.56 in EPS.

Their new price target is $820 (from $780), based on what they consider a conservative 12.7x multiple, our new CY13 EPS of $54.81 plus $124 in net cash.

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are currently up 1.25% today to $678.00 a share.

Disclosure: No positions in any securities mentioned

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