Apple Shares: “A Magical and Revolutionary Product at an Unbelievable Price”

Published on April 21, 2010
by John Paczkowski

“After the big run, what’s next? The big run.”

So begins a research note from RBC analyst Mike Abramsky that’s a good representation of the market’s reaction to Apple’s latest blow-the-roof-off-the-sucker quarter.

The 90 percent spike in profit the company reported yesterday, which surpassed already lofty expectations, inspired a rush of analyst notes this morning, all of them enthusiastic, all of them containing raised target prices on Apple’s (AAPL) stock (Eric Savitz at Barron’s has the full run down).

Abramsky, for example, raised his target price to $350 from $275, and he wasn’t the only one. Chris Whitmore at Deutsche Bank did the same, saying, “Apple continues to show both impressive growth and profitability and is well positioned to benefit from the confluence of three major product refreshes beginning in the June quarter, namely: iPad, Macs and iPhone refresh expected this summer.”

Over at Broadpoint.AmTech, Brian Marshall raised his target to $320 for similar reasons: “Apple continues to gain share across its major product lines (iPhones, Macs and iPods),” he wrote in a research note. “Its business model is becoming stronger over time as well as the company benefits from an increasing richness of its revenue mix and when ASP cuts come, customers typically migrate up the ‘SKU stack’ and buy higher priced items with higher associated gross margins.”

And at Piper Jaffray, analyst Gene Munster dismissed Apple’s comically conservative guidance, upping his target to $323 from $299. Apple’s June quarter will be an encore to the one it just delivered, he said in a research note.

With a new iPhone waiting in the wings and the much ballyhooed iPad having just arrived at market, it does seem that way, doesn’t it? Consider this from Munster:

“Apple indicated that early iPad sales exceeded company expectations, which we see as a positive indication for the long-term investment prospects of the iPad segment. As the value proposition clarifies, we believe investors will begin to see the iPad as a Mac for the masses. In other words, the iPad is a lower-ASP device that accomplishes many everyday computing tasks as well as a Mac; as such, we believe the addressable market for the iPad is larger than many investors believe.”

If this proves true, expect Apple to deliver another of its “best quarters ever” when it next reports earnings.

At $258.14, Apple shares are trading up 5.54 percent today.

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