updated 12:30 am EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Believes 2014 iPhone will do well in larger sizes, new products still to come
Nearly a working week after AAPL began trading on a split-adjusted basis, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani notified his clients that he has adjusted his price target for the stock from $96 to $100 per share. He stopped short of predicting the company would break its all-time high of (adjusted) $100.72, which it achieved in September of 2012. The stock declined slightly on Thursday, and is now $8.44 away from breaking that record -- a feat many analysts predict will happen this year.
The stock has risen 2.76 percent since June 2, the day it officially split with a ratio of seven-to-one. For the year, it is up 16.8 percent, most of that rise coming after Apple initially announced the split (along with an increased dividend program and additional funding for more stock buyback) after its fiscal 2Q report, which also beat analysts' expectations on iPhone sales.
Analysts like Daryanani expect the company to release at least model of "iPhone 6" in the fall of this year, reportedly with a larger 4.7-inch screen that would help remove one of the few advantages flagship Android-based phones have against the iPhone, as well as increase Apple's profit margins. He thinks the company would likely sell the initial iPhone 6 model at $299 with contract, and that pent-up demand for a larger iPhone combined with a new iPad model in the fall will again boost sales throughout the highly-profitable holiday quarter and beyond.
Like many, Daryanani also believes that the company will eventually produce a 5.5-inch model as well, that might qualify as a "phablet" by virtue of being an iPhone that largely works as a tablet. Though most Apple users seem to prefer the clear delineation of larger tablets (at least seven inches in diagonal screen size, with the company's own iPad mini offering an 7.9-inch display), users that can only afford one device or just wish to consolidate tablet and phone duties into a single unit have moved the market to ever-larger smartphone sizes, with the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 gaining a foothold in the "phablet" market.
Daryanani also expresses confidence that the company will produce the long-promised "new category" products in the second half of 2014. He is particularly expecting the company to reveal its "iWatch" health device, believing it will bring users further into the Apple eco-system by replacing an assortment of expensive health-monitoring devices and further adding value to products like the iPhone.
He told his clients he does not expect Apple to release an HDTV or similar television device this year, but noted that Apple has recently made moves to vastly expand and take in-house its own advertising efforts, which he sees (presumably alongside the recent Beats Electronics deal) as a move to help build its own HDTV-base hardware in the longer term.