Goldman Sachs: This Is the Beginning of a Big Year for Apple

Published on April 18, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple’s recent Wall Street losing streak over the past week didn’t shake Goldman Sachs’ faith in the company in the slightest. Indeed, in a note to clients this morning, analyst Bill Shope reiterated his “buy” rating on Apple and boosted his 12-month price target on the stock to $750 from $700, arguing that this is “the beginning of a very big year” for the company.

According to Shope, recent investor concerns that have weighed on Apple shares — soft Mac sales, the prospect of an iPhone subsidy revolt among carriers — are overblown and will be proven wrong when the company reports earnings next week.

“We expect solid March quarter upside, which is likely to trigger healthy increases in iPhone, iPad and overall earnings expectations for the full year,” Shope wrote. “In addition, we believe recent investor concerns over a ‘catalyst-light’ June quarter are misguided, since this will be the first full quarter with a refreshed iPad, a lower-priced iPad 2, and a fully ramped iPhone distribution channel; in other words, the June quarter is when many of the recent catalysts begin to fully manifest into earnings power.”

And with that, he raised estimates for Apple’s second quarter to $36.9 billion and $10.18 per share, ahead of current consensus, which is about $36.67 billion and $9.98.

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