updated 08:30 am EDT, Thu April 26, 2007
Analyst raised AAPL target
Apple's stock surged past $100 in post-market trading on Wednesday evening after the company announced record March quarter profits of $770 million. The company's stock was up nearly 8 percent to $102.89 in pre-market trading, according to the latest data with several analysts expected to raise their targets. Setting a $140 price target, analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray noted that Apple reported 38 percent upside to analyst expected earnings-per-share (EPS) based on higher gross margins and that the company shipped 1.52 million Macs, ahead of the 1.45 million estimates. The firm believes that Apple is not at the peak of its EPS upside following the three strongest quarters in the company's history. The upside, Munster said, will be driven by three catalysts: the forthcoming iPhone, new product introductions expected in the June and September quarter -- which could include an video iPod, tablet Mac, or other new consumer product -- and continued Mac market share gains.
"To date, we have not seen any credible competitive threats in Apple's core markets (Zune is a flop in the MP3 space and Dell & HP have failed to deliver PCs that rival the Mac)," the analyst wrote in his early morning research note. "We believe that in the coming quarters Apple will hold its massive lead in portable audio and grow share in the personal computer market."
Munster raised his price target from $123 to $140.