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Apple Named ‘Favorite Idea,’ ‘Safety Blanket,’ for 2022

Apple crowned ‘Favorite Idea’ and ‘Safety Blanket’ by two influential analysts as it nears a $3 trillion market cap, despite reports of lagging iPhone 13 sales.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report has been crowned a ‘favorite idea’ for investors for 2022 by one influential Wall Street analyst while being dubbed a “tech safety blanket” by another, despite recent reports of lagging iPhone 13 sales and even as the shares touch all-time highs, pushing the company's market capitalization to near $3 trillion.

While cautious on technology stocks overall, Morgan Stanley on Thursday named Apple its favorite hardware large-cap pick for investors for 2022, just two days after the investment bank's noted analyst Katy Huberty boosted her price target on the tech giant to the highest level on Wall Street.

Huberty, one of the tech sector's top-rated analysts, on Tuesday raised her price target on Apple by $36, to $200 per share while keeping her 'overweight' rating in place, noting upside potential from Apple's nascent autonomous driving division as well as the planned launch of augmented and virtual reality products such as headsets and glasses.

Huberty also shrugged-off recent reports of waning iPhone demand heading into the holiday season, noting that handset and App Store revenues could surprise to the upside in the December quarter.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, meantime, also sees a juicy future for Apple, lifting his price target on Apple to a bull-case of $225 per share on what his team sees as strong demand for the iPhone 13, also contrary to recent reports, as well as expectations that Apple's highly anticipated AR glasses will hit the market next year.

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“Our iPhone 13 checks continue to be much stronger than expected with our belief that Apple is now on pace to sell north of 40 million iPhones during the holiday season despite the chip shortage headwinds,” Ives wrote, noting that from his team’s calculations demand is currently outstripping supply for iPhone 13s “…by roughly 10 million units globally.”

“While there are various media reports focusing on supply shortages of roughly 15 million iPhone units, the underlying demand story remains our focus into 2022 and we believe is the key driver of the stock going forward,” Ives said, calling Apple a “safety blanket” tech name.

What’s more, Ives sees the debut of Apple’s AR headset Apple Glasses potentially adding $20 a share to Apple’s valuation, “…given this massive market opportunity and tapping the broader metaverse ecosystem.”

A $200 handle on Apple stock would peg the company's valuation at more than $3  trillion.

Shares of Apple were down 0.7% at $173.85 in premarket trading after ending the trading day at $175.08, a fresh record high. Year to date the stock is up nearly 40%.