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Apple Stock Target Buffed Up by Citi on View to  Strong Holiday Sales

The tech giant receives a price-target upgrade from Citi analyst Jim Suva on expectations of a strong holiday quarter.

Shares of Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report were gently higher on Thursday after influential Citi analyst Jim Suva upgraded his price target on expectations of a strong holiday quarter.

In a research note, Suva raised Apple’s price target to $300 from $250 and reiterated his buy rating on the iPhone maker.

He pointed to “pricing strategies and recent demand trends” as factors that “augur for a better Christmas quarter” than last year, Bloomberg reported.

The consensus is “underappreciating the Apple Watch and Apple AirPods demand strength,” he wrote, adding that Apple’s services business would also grow and help fatten  margins.

Suva added that he anticipates upside to both earnings and sales but doesn’t expect Apple’s valuation multiple to expand much more from current levels as it has “already expanded materially.” 

The company's trailing-12-months multiple is around 22.

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Suva now has a fiscal 2020 per-share-earnings forecast of $13.26, above the current analyst consensus of $12.23.

Shares of Apple are up 66% year to date, putting the company on track for its biggest one-year gain since 2009.

The move comes amid strong sales of its flagship iPhone as well as increased expectations of revenue streams from other products and services like Apple TV+. 

In a separate note to clients this week, J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee lifted his 12-month price target to $296 from $290 and left his buy rating on the stock in place on continued optimism over the company's revenue potential.

Shares of Apple were up 0.99% at $264.33 in morning trading on Thursday.

Apple’s is set to report first-quarter earnings on Jan. 28.