Canaccord Raises AAPL Target on iPhone 5s Expectations

Following the introduction of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley raised his target price for Apple's stock from US$530 up to $550. Mr. Walkley thinks Apple's aggressive rollout plans, plus the strong feature set on the iPhone 5s will drive up revenue during the holiday buying season.

Canaccord Genuity: iPhone 5s will be good for Apple's bottom lineCanaccord Genuity: iPhone 5s will be good for Apple's bottom line

Apple plans to launch the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in more than 100 countries before the end of the year, and with China on that list, the potential for new device sales is even more promising.

Mr. Walkley told investors,

We believe the new iPhone 5S has very competitive high-end specifications versus leading Android smartphones including the world's first 64-bit A7 processor, a separate M7 motion co- processor and Touch ID -– a fingerprint authentication sensor built into the new home button. Further, we believe new capabilities in iOS 7 available September 18 along with the features and new colors for the 5S and 5C should drive strong sales, particularly to Apple's large iOS base.

He added that Apple will most likely jump up over the 700 million cumulative iOS device sales in October.

The price point for the iPhone 5c came in higher than expected, and instead of costing sales, Mr. Walkley sees that as an opportunity for Apple to bring in even more revenue.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c at a media event on September 10. The iPhone 5s replaces the iPhone 5 and includes a faster processor, better graphics rendering, built-in fitness tracking, improved camera, a fingerprint scanner for better security, and more. The iPhone 5c is a brand new mid-range iPhone model that sports the same specifications as the iPhone 5, but does away with the glass and metal back and sides in favor of plastic. The plastic back and sides are formed as a single piece, is highly scratch resistant, and is available in several colors.

Mr. Walkley said, "Given the slightly higher pricing for the 5c and aggressive launch plans, we increased our Fiscal 2014 iPhone sales estimate from 177 million to 180 million units and our ASP forecast from $543 to $562."

He also bumped up his fiscal 2014 EPS from $44.20 up to $46.05.

Mr. Walkley is maintaining his "Buy" rating for Apple's stock. Apple is currently trading at $466.03, down 28.61 (5.78%).