A couple of Wall Street analysts recently released research notes saying that Apple is poised to move higher, particularly as the holiday shopping season continues in full force. The iPhone 5, iPad and iPad mini are seeing healthy demand and supply is improving, particularly for the iPhone 5, noted Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu. He rated Apple a buy with an $840 price target.
"From our latest supplier checks, we continue to pick up improving yields and availability on iPhone 5 and thus improving profitability," Wu penned in a research report. "In addition, we have noticed much better availability in AAPL's retail stores, online store, as well as third-party partners," he said later. He now believes Apple could sell more than the 45 million to 46 million iPhones this quarter, particularly as Apple enters China. Wu raised his iPhone unit forecast from 46.5 million this quarter to 47.3 million.
A look at Apple's Web site confirms this, as ship times have improved from two to three weeks in mid-November to just two to four business days for all models and all carriers. On the other hand, demand for the iPad mini is still outstripping supply. A look at Apple's site shows that ship times for the smaller iPad are at two weeks.Apple iPad Mini: First Impressions Apple recently announced that the iPhone 5 would be coming to China Dec. 14 and the new iPad and iPad mini would be coming Dec. 7. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said he believes Apple is poised to move higher as earnings growth moves the stock higher, helped by new products and increased gross margins. "Although we don't expect much multiple expansion, new products still have the potential to drive earnings growth and create value by earning cost of capital," Milunovich wrote in a research note. He rated Apple buy with a $780 price target.