updated 10:30 am EST, Mon December 14, 2009
Analyst cites high growth momentum
JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz has raised his price target for Apple stock from $220 to $230, according to Reuters. The adjustment is based on better growth than anticipated for Macs, iPhones and iPods. Industry contacts reached by Moskowitz suggest that Mac shipments in particular have improved during the past two weeks; Apple is now expected to ship 3.29 million computers during the December quarter, instead of 3.17 million.
The Mac sales are said to be unusually strong given that the September quarter was driven by built-up demand relieved by product refreshes.
Moskowitz is meanwhile raising his iPhone estimates 8 percent to 8.18 million, shrinking iPod numbers down from 21.97 million to 21.62 million. Stock value is expected to be influenced in coming weeks by speculation over the next American iPhone carrier, which could be either Verizon or T-Mobile. Apple does not absolutely need Verizon during 2010, Moskowitz argues, because the iPhone is still working its way into markets like China and South Korea. "A move to Verizon could be a longer-term catalyst to underpin growth two to three years out," the analyst notes.