Analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research reiterated his AAPL "Buy" rating on Tuesday, despite recent events in the SEC investigation. The target price remains US$145.
Mr. Wu indicated his belief that the SEC is not likely to press charges against Steve Jobs or force him to step down as CEO. Regarding the others in the investigation, "We are glad to see Fred Anderson, former CFO, settle with the SEC with no admission of wrongdoing and hope that former chief legal counsel Nancy Heinen does the same," he said.
Apple is seen as in a very strong position in his statement: "We continue to view AAPL as among the strongest fundamental stories with its four-pronged vertically integrated end-to-end portfolio (Mac, iPod + iTunes, Apple TV, and iPhone) and see several catalysts in the quarters ahead, including Mac OS X Leopard, new Macs, new iPods, new movie and carrier partners, and lower cost cell phones."
In addition, Apple has key competitive advantages in strong brand, loyal customer base, vertically integrated hardware, software and service, proprietary interface technologies (clickwheel, multitouch) and a unique and pleasant experierience in its Apple [retail] stores.
Mr. Wu reiterated a "Buy" rating and US$145 price target. In trading so far today, Apple is up $1.20 to $94.44.