Analyst: Apple Stock Likely to Rise After iPhone, WWDC

| Apple Stock Watch

Many investors rely on the "buy on the rumor, sell on the news" strategy, but that isnit likely to pay off with Apple, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The companyis stock typically rises after big events, and two are scheduled for June: Appleis World Wide Developer Conference, and the iPhone launch.

"Using the closing price the day before events as a base, shares of AAPL have risen an average of 1 percent the day of an event, and rise 3 percent in the week after the event," he said. "Using the closing price the week before events as a base, shares of AAPL have risen 6 percent on average between the week before and the week after an event."

Appleis first big event of June will be its World Wide Developer Conference - the annual gathering of developers coming to learn about coding for Appleis latest products. The company is expected to offer an in-depth look at its next operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, which is due to ship in October. We may also see refreshed MacBook Pro and iMac models announced.

Mr. Munster expects Apple will announce new computers at WWDC because the pro laptop and consumer desktop computers are overdue for updates. On average, Appleis pro-level laptops see an update every 182 days, but the last MacBook Pro refresh happened over 200 days ago. The iMac is in a similar situation. It was last refreshed over 250 days ago, but historically has seen an update on average every 168 days.

Appleis second big event for June will be the iPhone launch. Despite rumors to the contrary, Mr. Munster is certain the combination iPod and smart phone will ship on time. Apple confirmed the iPhone is on schedule, and the likelihood that it will slip seems slim since this is expected to be one of the biggest product launches in the Mac and iPod makeris history.

The iPhone will be available at nearly 2,000 store fronts - both Apple and AT&T - and will also be available on the Apple and AT&T Web sites. The high visibility of the iPhone, coupled with the hype leading up to its release are expected to help drive sales up.

Mr. Munster added "While we expected the maxim ibuy on rumors, sell on newsi to hold, we found that historically it has paid to own shares of AAPL heading into events."

Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and target price of US$140 for Apple stock. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $114.50, up 0.98 (0.85%).

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