Are Apple and Microsoft Stock Gains Peaking? (MSFT, AAPL)

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is “the new Microsoft” as far as tech companies taking over the world.  In the 1990’s it was Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) that was taking over the world. 2012 has so far been a great year for investors of Apple and Microsoft.  24/7 Wall St. wanted to look at the current prices and targets to see if these moves can continue or if they are getting a bit long in the teeth.

If you adjust for the $0.20 dividend paid out recently, Microsoft shares are up 24.4% (at $32.09) from the end of 2011.  Apple shares are actually up 34%.  Is this huge run over for either company?

If you use the Thomson Reuters consensus price targets as gospel, Apple can still run higher while Microsoft may be reaching full value.  At $543.00 in Apple, the consensus target is about $572.00 but there are calls out there for well over $600.00.  Some guys are even saying $1,000…. The third iPad and Apple TV are the coming catalysts, supposedly.

Microsoft is trading up 1.3% at $32.15 today, but the Thomson Reuters consensus price target for Microsoft is $32.46 now.  The highest target out there is $37.00, and Microsoft’s dividend is now represented at 2.5% for new investors.  If you owned it at the end of 2011 that dividend yield would be over 3%.  The hope is that Windows 8 will truly be a success this year.  To see the performance here, see the chart below.

The worry here is that analysts may have to start downgrading Microsoft on price target objectives alone.  If not, then the cadre of analysts are going to have to start raising their price targets.