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Apple Set For Margin Boost

Apple's recent antenna problems are fast disappearing, according to analyst firm Gleacher & Company.



) --


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antenna problems

are fast disappearing, according to analyst firm Gleacher & Company, which predicts an imminent margin boost for the tech giant.

"We remain enthusiastic about both Apple's near-term and long-term business trends," explained Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Company, in a note released on Monday. "If we are correct in our assessment that Antennagate is behind us and the bumper give-away will cease soon, Apple's gross margin will automatically improve 100 base percentage points."

Apple's gross margin was 39.1 during its recent third-quarter, although there were concerns that the $175 million cost of the bumper give-away would impact its margins.

Marshall, however, believes that Apple will soon end any investor worries about its gross margin, and reiterated his buy rating and $345 price target for the company.

Apple is also becoming more efficient at getting iPads into the hands of consumers, according to the analyst, who adds that the tablet is not eating into other Apple product revenue. "While still early in its ramp, the iPad continues to possess no cannibalistic characteristics at this juncture," he wrote. "In our view, demand remains strong for the iPhone, iPad and Mac product lines."

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Apple is undoubtedly experiencing great success with products such as the

iPad and the new iPhone

and has already shipped more than 3 million of each device.

Marshall also feels that Apple will receive a boost from the back-to-school season, which comes hot on the heels of the company's best-ever quarterly Mac sales. "We believe sales will continue to be strong for the September quarter as Apple gains market share from its traditional PC competitors," he wrote.

Gleacher & Company's bullishness is a further example of Apple's ability to

grab Wall Street's imagination

, as evidenced by the recent slew of

buy ratings

heading in its direction.

Apple shares dipped $1.50, or 0.60%, to $248.14 on Monday, mirroring the modest retreat in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq dip 0.38%.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

Follow James Rogers on


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