Analysts Raise AAPL Tagets on iPhone Hopes

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple's stock is on the rise, and so are the target prices for the iPhone and iPad maker's shares. Both Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research and Ben Reitzes of Barclays raised their target price for Apple's stock on Wednesday, citing expected high demand for the next version of the iPhone.

iPhone 6 prospects have analysts optimistic about AAPL stock valueiPhone 6 prospects have analysts optimistic about AAPL stock value

Mr. Sacconaghi raised his target price from US$615 up to $700 because he expects the iPhone 6 to ship with a larger screen. That screen, he predicts, will draw in buyers that otherwise would've chosen Android-based smartphones. He also expects U.S. consumers will be in a better position to upgrade to a new smartphone thanks to the new plans carriers are offering as an incentive, according to Yahoo Finance.

Mr. Reitzes sees Apple's momentum as a plus, saying, "Apple has avoided the widely expected first half slump in earnings and finally seems poised to announce a few new categories." His new target price climbed from $590 up to $655.

He added that international iPhone sales, coupled with the launch of the still rumored iWatch, will help boost the company's value. Mr. Reitzes also expects Apple will expand its service-based offerings this year, giving its overall value another boost.

Mr. Sacconaghi's $700 target price comes with an unchanged "Outperform" rating. Mr. Reitzes is maintaining his "Equal Weight" rating. Apple is currently trading at $626.91, up 1.28 (0.20%).

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A morning in the life of a stock analyst:

“Good morning, Betty.  What’s happening today.”
Betty:  “Sir, Apple stock price of $626 is now higher than the target you set at $615.”
Betty:  “Yes sir.”
“OK, let’s see.  Original target was $615.  Current price is $626.  I like round numbers, so let’s set a new target at, well, $700.  What’s happening in the world of Apple, Betty?”
Betty:  “Well, sir, a new iPhone is due out shortly, and some are saying it will have a bigger screen.”
“Great.  so, I am raising my target to $700 based on, um, a bigger iPhone screen that will, I guess, draw in new customers.  Excellent.  Put a bunch more gobbledygook wording in and publish it Betty.  I’m taking a coffee break.”
Betty:  “Very good, sir.  You deserve that coffee break after that incredibly focused 2 minutes of effort…”

Truly amazing.

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