updated 01:15 pm EST, Fri December 30, 2011
Sprint, KDDI showing good results, analyst says
BMO Capital Markets' Keith Bachman this week raised his price target for Apple stock from $455 to $460. The analyst now sees Apple shipping 29.5 million phones in the December quarter, with the potential of hitting 32 million. An earlier estimate called for just 28 million units.
The new numbers are based on hints of strong iPhone sales at US carrier Sprint and Japan's KDDI. Bachman cites "conversations with Sprint sales reps" as pointing to Apple "benefiting from material upgrades of Sprint subscribers." For the December quarter, the analyst has raised his earnings-per-share estimate from $9.55 to $9.82; for the 2012 fiscal year, he is shifting from $33.50 to $34.68. An early 2013 forecast has been tweaked to $39.62 from $38.80.
In terms of the March quarter Bachman is calling for EPS of just $7.59, despite a $7.86 average estimate. The reason, he explains, is that he anticipates slower iPad sales as people wait for a next-generation model.