updated 08:45 am EDT, Fri July 17, 2009
JP Morgan ups AAPL targets
J.P. Morgan Securities has increased its target price and earnings forecast for Apple stock. Analyst Mark Moskowitz expects AAPL to continue rising up to $167.50 per share. The company is expected to show strong performance with sales in the business segment, while Moskowitz also increased his estimates for Mac sales from 2.13 million units to 2.5 million units.
Apple's recent overhaul to its MacBook Pro series of notebooks may have helped boost sales for the second half of June. The devices received component and performance upgrades, along with lower prices. The company added a faster processor and larger hard drive to the basic 17-inch model, while dropping the price by $300 to $2500.
Despite the ongoing impact of the economic recession on computer shipments, Apple's sales numbers have typically followed its product cycles closer than the overall market trends. The company has also largely avoided the fall-off in average selling prices (ASPs) that has cut into the margins of its competitors. It remains unclear, however, if the MacBook repricing will significantly affect ASPs or margins.
Moskowitz noted that the iPod touch provides enough "quasi-netbook" features to take advantage of the increasing popularity of netbooks. Sales of other iPod models could be more modest. The analyst also increased his iPhone sales estimates from 3.88 million units to 4.34 million units.
Apple is set to disclose its third-quarter financial information on July 21st after the market closes.