Wed, Apr 04, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Apple stock to hit US$1,001: analyst

FEVERISH DEMAND:The US firm’s expansion into China and the television market, as well as a smooth management transition, should propel growth, Brian White said

Bloomberg

Apple Inc, already the world’s most valuable company, will see its stock price reach US$1,001 within 12 months, lifted by growth in China and the debut of a new television product, according to Topeka Capital Markets.

The new target, issued on Monday by Topeka’s Brian White, is the highest among the 45 analysts tracked by Bloomberg and represents a 62 percent increase over the current price.

The gains will be fueled by demand for the next iPhone, in addition to the expansion into China and the TV market, he said.

“Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world,” White said in a report, which initiated coverage of the company with a buy recommendation.

Apple will get to US$1,001 by introducing a TV within a year, as well as an upgraded iPhone that works with faster wireless networks, he said.

China Mobile Ltd (中國移動通信), China’s largest wireless network, will start carrying the iPhone within a year, White said, adding millions of new potential customers.

Apple’s stock is also getting a boost because of a relatively seamless transition since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, he said.

The stock has risen more than 60 percent since Jobs died in October last year. Tim Cook had assumed the role of chief executive officer in August last year.

“Steve Jobs’s health was such a fear that was hanging over the stock,” White said in an interview. “Now you’ve seen that Tim Cook is doing a good job.”

Apple’s management should aim to become the first company to generate US$1 trillion in revenue, a goal that’s achievable in the next decade, he said.

Apple had sales of US$108.2 billion in its last fiscal year, which ended in September.

A risk for Apple is the uncertainty over who will make critical decisions about future products, White said. Cook’s experience is with Apple’s supply chain and operations, and less with product development, the area where Jobs excelled.

The stock has already risen 53 percent this year, spurred by soaring iPhone revenue and the debut of a higher-resolution iPad last month. The shares climbed 3.2 percent to US$618.63 on Monday in US trading.

White said Apple could hit his target because its iPhone and Mac computers still have relatively low market share, giving them room to grow. He also foresees Apple introducing iPads with a smaller screen size, letting them compete more directly with tablet computers from Amazon.com Inc and other rivals.

Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPad was named the best tablet computer in a ranking by Consumer Reports, two weeks after the magazine said the device runs “significantly hotter” than previous models.

The new iPad’s high-resolution screen provides the best detail and color accuracy of all tablets Consumer Reports has seen, the publication said on Monday on its Web site. Consumer Reports also commended the device’s camera and faster connectivity. The new iPad costs US$500 to US$830.

“With use of a laptop, evidence suggests that temperature on the bottom of its case of 120 degrees [F, or 48.9°C] risks damage to bare skin with prolonged contact,” Consumer Reports said in a statement. “But we think the same temperature on a tablet is more a potential inconvenience than a concern.”

Consumer Reports ranked the new iPad above other new tablets, including Toshiba Corp’s Excite 10LE, Pantech Co’s Element, Sony Corp’s Tablet P and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7.

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