Apple (AAPL), the maker of the iPod and iPhone, garners a $450 price target from Goldman over the next 12 months, a 31% premium to its current price. That target is a $20 upward revision from the previous target. The company's fourth-quarter results handily exceeded the investment bank's estimates and "March quarter guidance for revenues and EPS of $22 billion and $4.90 was far higher than our estimate for $20.9 billion and $4.49 (consensus of $20.8 billion and $4.47)," Goldman said in a Jan. 19 research note.
It adds that sales of iPod and phone have been far stronger than most expected which is expected to continue the company's rising earnings juggernaut. Despite its seemingly lofty price ($343.50 on Jan. 27), its forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19 is less than the 19.7 of its industry group. Apple's management lineage is in question as founder Steve Jobs announced a little over a week ago that he's taking medical leave again.
Jobs has been a tough company director for the past decade, which is credited with bringing the company to new heights in product innovation and profitability. So the impact of his absence is seen by some as a big unknown, and putting a cloud over the company's long-term potential. Apple's shares are up 11% over the past three months and 68% over 12 months.>To see these stocks in action, visit the Goldman's 8 Best Tech Stocks for 2011 portfolio on Stockpickr.
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