"We are increasing our estimates to reflect an earlier-than-expected iPhone 5 launch and likely mini iPad introduction in FQ1 2013," the firm said. "We remain bullish on Apple given its robust product ecosystem, solid product pipeline, continued growth catalysts, and reasonable valuation."
Wedbush is expecting the iPhone 5 to be a grand slam and it bumped its iPhone unit estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter ending in September to 24.1 million from 21.6 million, adding that the higher view could ultimately prove to be conservative.
"Given carrier comments, we expect the iPhone 5 to feature LTE, which we see as a major selling point for the device," the firm said. "We would point to out Mobile Device Survey in July that indicated that 35% of survey respondents were likely to purchase an iPhone while no other competitor was found to have a consumer preference greater than 20%."
The stock finished Tuesday's regular session at $674.97, up 1.5% and just below a session high of $675.14. The shares are up more than 60% in 2012, yet still trade at a forward P/E of 12.9X.Wednesday's economic calendar is light with just the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly mortgage application activity index at 7 a.m. ET; and the revised data on productivity and unit labor costs for the second quarter at 8:30 a.m. ET. And finally, it was a busy after-hours session, highlighted by a warning from package delivery giant FedEx (FDX - Get Report). Citing weakness in the global economy, the Memphis, Tenn.-based company said it now expects earnings of $1.37 to $1.43 a share in its fiscal first quarter ended in August, well below its original forecast for a profit of $1.45 to $1.60 a share. FedEx said the global weakness "constrained revenue growth at FedEx Express more than expected in the earlier guidance." The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of $1.56 a share in the August-ended quarter. The stock was down more than 4% in extended trading. Meantime, Facebook (FB - Get Report) was seeing some buying interest in late trades after CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated he has no plans to sell any of his stock holdings in the social networking giant for at least 12 months.
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