Updated from 12:28 p.m. EST to provide analyst comments regarding valuation in the fourteenth paragraph.
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets initiated coverage of the tech giant with a Buy rating and a $1,001 price target on Monday, as he believes "Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend."
This is not the first time an analyst has said Apple shares could approach $1,000 per share, as Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty made a case for the lofty share price in mid-March.White noted Apple's continued expansion into higher-speed devices, such as the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) iPad, and the eventual LTE iPhone, continued expansion in China, and the launch of an Apple-branded television set as the primary reasons for share price appreciation. The analyst places heavy importance on Apple expanding its product offering to include LTE, as consumers see the benefit of high-speed offerings. White believes Apple is poised "to take advantage of the shift from 3G to 4G LTE networks, providing an incremental driver for consumers to upgrade to the new iPad and eventually the iPhone 5 later this year." Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says that having LTE on the iPad will be a big driver of sales, also providing an iPhone boost. "We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Google (GOOG) Android offerings out there," Wu wrote in a March research note. The analyst rates Apple a buy with a $740 price target. Apple currently sells an LTE iPad in America on both AT&T (T) and Verizon's (VZ) networks.
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