Apple Inc. posted a 170% year-over-year increase in CEO Steve Jobsi jet expenses during the December 2007 quarter, and Morgan Stanley cited that and a 34% year-over-year R&D increase as signs that Apple has some meaningful product launches ahead. Apple was kind enough to oblige the investment banking firm by upgrading its mobile line shortly after the research note was published.
Seeking Alpha reported that Morgan Stanley sees lower iPod unit sales going forward, but sees margin-expansion due to the higher average selling price of the current iPod and iPhone lineup. perhaps more importantly, however, the firm sees higher Mac sales as continuing to add to Appleis bottom line.
The research note also said that Appleis retail store strategy outside the U.S. was working, and, "tends to be a positive influence on revenue growth, operating margins and valuation."
AAPL is currently trading at Morgan Stanelyis 12-month bear case scenario, and maintains an Overweight rating and a US$185 target price.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.