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Who'd Be Nuts Enough to Sell Apple?: Opinion

Fundamental factors: This is one of the most widely followed companies on Wall Street where 47 brokerage firms have assigned 56 analysts to monitor the numbers. They project revenue to be up 23.60% this year and another 15.10% next year. Earnings are estimated to be up 13.60% this year, an additional 17.10% next year and continue to increase at an annual rate of 22.03% for the next five years.

The company has an A++ financial strength rating and is selling at a P/E ratio of 12.64 in a market where the average stock is selling at a 15.20 P/E. The 1.90% dividend is only 20% of forecast earnings. Apple recently won a landmark patent infringement case against market leader Samsung and Apple is selling everything it can produce. Sales in the growing China market are up 20%. The stock had a 100 Price Growth Persistence rating.

Investor interest is high and analysts have released 22 strong buy, 28 buy, four hold and only two underperform or sell recommendations to their clients. On Motley Fool an unbelievable 28,709 readers have given the stock a 92% vote of confidence to beat the market. TheStreet rates this an A stock. Short interest has not wavered and has stayed steady at only one average day's trading volume. Analysts predict that if their numbers are correct investors could see an annual total rate of return in the 15%-22% range over the next five years.

Conclusion: If you own Apple, hold on to it. If you are trying to decide to buy more, realize that this is a stock with double-digit projections for growth in revenue and earnings selling at a discount to the market. Analysts are telling their clients they can make 15% to 22% annual total return.

When to buy? Draw a chart like the one below and as soon as you see the upper 14-day turtle channel increases and/or the price crosses the 20-day moving average hit the buy button.

I sold Apple when it first showed weakness and will buy back in when I see the conditions I outlined above materialize.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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