Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may have pulled back substantially from its highs, but one research upgrade has come out today. S&P Capital IQ raised its rating to Strong Buy from Buy. As recently as yesterday we saw that S&P Capital IQ had a Buy rating and a $700 price target. The call is after shares have fallen by 23% or so from their recent highs. but analyst Scott Kessler is not changing his price target objective from the $700 mark.
Today’s call is one on a compelling valuation ahead of the holiday spending trends with new iPhone and iPad offerings leading to more market share gains despite some recent slips and management changes made recently.
S&P Capital IQ sees the fundamental story unchanged and intact and Kessler believes that Apple could decide to allocate more capital toward dividends and buybacks.
It was just yesterday that we saw Kessler say, “We estimate sales growth of 25% for FY 13 (Sep.), after a 45% rise in FY 12, reflecting success with iPhones and iPads.We also see related continuing growth from downloads, as hardware sales enable and promote consumption of apps, music, movies and books. We see iMac shipments rising at an above-industry pace, but iPod units continuing to decline because of market saturation and AAPL’s already dominant market share.We project 15% revenue growth for FY 14.” Its Qualitative Risk Assessment was High.
Apple shares are still down about 0.4% at $541.00 against a 52-week range of $363.32 to $705.07.
JON C. OGG