Piper Raises AAPL to $718 on iPad Demand

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has raised his 12-month target price for Apple’s stock from US$670 up to $718 based on continued high demand for the iPad and iPhone.

Mr. Munster’s expectation is that Apple will now sell some 86.5 million iPads in calendar year 2013 instead of 75.5 million as he previously modeled. That figure is a 44 percent increase over his 2012 iPad sales estimate, according to Barrons.

Strong iPad demand drives Apple stock target price increaseStrong iPad demand drives Apple stock target price increase

Demand for the iPad doesn’t seem to be waning, especially with world-wide pre-orders for the new third generation model sold out. Consumers hoping to be get the new iPad on launch day, March 16, will now have to stand in line if they didn’t pre-order early.

Early third generation iPad reviews are favorable and sing praises for the quality of the new high resolution Retina Display and LTE wireless data network performance.

iPhone sales for 2013 will be even higher with Mr. Munster predicting 189 million units, up from 162 million.

Mr. Munster’s target price increase follows a similar move yesterday by Canaccord Genuity’s Michael Walkley. He raised his target price for the company from $665 up to $710 based on strong iPad demand.

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty raised her target price for Apple, too, from $515 to $720.

Apple is currently trading at $593.81 and briefly shot up over $600 earlier in the morning.