Another Wall Street analyst has raised his price target for AAPL: Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes bumped his target for Apple’s stock to $315, up from $300, based on the company’s just-reported March quarter.
In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, the analyst raised his estimated for the company’s June quarter to $13.7 billion in revenue, up from $13.4 billion, and his earnings per share (EPS) estimates to $2.70, up a penny.
Both numbers are ahead of Apple’s guidance for the quarter (revenue of $13-$13.4 billion and EPS of $2.28-$2.39), as are his gross margin estimates of 38%. Apple guided analysts to expect 36% gross estimates, a sharp drop from the 41.7% gross margins the company turned in for March. Mr. Reitzes called Apple’s guidance “quite conservative.”
The analyst raised estimates for iPad unit sales of 1.5 million for the June quarter, up from 1.2 million, but he added that even the new number could prove quite conservative.
His new price target of $315 per share is based on a 17x multiplier for his fiscal 2011 estimates of $15.25 EPS, plus Apple’s cash holdings, which he called $53 over the past 12 months.
Shares in AAPL closed sharply higher Wednesday, at $259.22 per share, a gain of $14.63 (+5.98%), on heavy volume of 34.8 million shares trading hands.
*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.