NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple  (AAPL - Get Report) are advancing 1.56% to $96.71 in early-afternoon trading on Monday after the company asked iPhone suppliers to prepare to produce between 72 million and 78 million new units by the end of the year, Taiwan's Economic Daily reports.

This is "dramatically above what people are looking for," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" this morning. 

Analysts expected just 65 million iPhone 7s to be produced by the end of 2016. 

"Talk about something no one was looking for," Cramer added. 

Analysts had marked the upcoming smartphone dead on arrival, he mentioned. 

Cramer noted that the Economic Daily newspaper has historically had a "great relationship" with Apple supplier Foxconn, and accurately predicted when iPhone sales would drop. 

"If they say that things are good or a lot of parts are being ordered, they're right," Cramer stated.

He nonetheless reiterated that he doesn't expected the current quarter to be strong for Apple.

"If you're in the stock for hot money, you'll be wrong," Cramer mentioned in the above video. "But I like the longer term."

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.

Apple's strengths such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.