Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is still heading to $750, or at least that is what Canaccord Genuity is targeting. The firm’s T. Michael Walkley has maintained a Buy rating on the largest company by market cap, despite its recent share price setback. What is perhaps more important than anything else is the call for when the next iPhone refresh will take place.
Walkley is talking up Apple’s strong product portfolio for 2013 and he said:
We believe Apple’s industry-leading software ecosystem and its leading hardware expertise will lead to a strong product cycle for its key products. We believe Apple is well positioned for strong F2013/14 sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions, including the recently launched iPhone 5, iPad mini, and recently refreshed iPod, MacBook, and iMac lineup. We also anticipate an earlier refresh of the iPhone in C2013 with expanding channel distribution.
The firm’s note shows that demand for the iPhone 5 was very strong during the December quarter, as well as a belief that Apple could launch new iPhone products earlier in 2013 than the past couple years. For fiscal 2013, the firm is targeting iPhone sales of 173 million units.
On the next iPhone, Walkley said:
We believe Apple could launch a higher-end iPhone model by the June quarter versus its more typical September/October timing for a new iPhone launch. We also believe Apple could potentially launch a lower-end iPhone focused on more price-sensitive pre-paid markets, as we believe consumers in markets such as China, Latin America and Eastern Europe would have very strong demand for a more affordably priced 3G iPhone.
Today’s positive call is on top of acknowledging that the iPad mini cannibalized some iPad sales, and the firm lowered some estimates based on that back in December. The $750 target is based on shares trading at roughly 13-times the firm’s fiscal 2014 earnings estimate.
Jon C. Ogg