Barclay's Reiterates Overweight Rating for AAPL Ahead of Earnings

Barclay's analyst Ben Reitzes reiterated his "Overweight" rating and price target for Apple Inc. Tuesday, one day ahead of the company's Q2 earnings announcement. In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Reitzes said that he expects an iPhone upgrade in June and an "ultraportable" he expects to see later in 2009 to boost shares in the company.

Much of Mr. Reitzes's research note is a mere reiteration of recent notes to clients. He gives Apple an "Overweight" rating, vs. a sector rating of "Neutral." His price target on apple remains at US$143 per share. Going forward, however, he expects the company to do well with a June iPhone refresh, and his comments suggest he gives more credence to the rumors of an Apple netbook or "ultraportable tablet."

Such devices, he wrote, continue to have "an expanding presence" in the market, according to checks his organization has made in the retail sector. He believes that Apple will join the space by launching, "a new touchscreen tablet-like answer to the netbook in the second half of 2009, which will help its positioning in the market for PC-like products at lower price points."

Apple will announce its March quarter, the company's fiscal 2nd quarter, tomorrow (Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009) after the markets close. As he has said before, Mr. Reitzes believes Apple will report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.37 (with a GAAP EPS of $1.00) and 4% year-over-year revenue growth.

Apple traded higher today, though not enough to erase yesterday's losses. The stock closed at $121.76 per share, a gain of $1.26 (+1.05%), on light volume of 16.8 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.