With Apple's stock topping the US$500 mark, and the prospect of the all-but-announced iPhone 5C, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich raised his target price from $500 up to $560. Photos and videos of the lower priced iPhone model have been circulating on the Internet, and he sees that as a big money maker for the Cupertino-based company.
China will play a big part in Apple's iPhone earnings once the company finishes swinging a distribution deal with China Mobile. Mr. Milunovich said, "Based on income, we estimate the iPhone opportunity in China is at least one-third the total 3G subscriber base or over 100 million users."
Based on his calculations, that could amount to 17 million iPhone sales just from China Mobile in fiscal 2014.
The iPhone 5C is a lower price iPhone model with a plastic back instead of glass and metal. It will be available in several colors and is expected to be a big seller in emerging smartphone markets.
Big time investor Carl Icahn recently revealed that he invested a substantial amount of money in Apple stock and also said he'd like to see the company expand its stock buyback program. Mr. Milunovich doesn't think Mr. Icahn will be able to pressure Apple into doing that, but if the company increased its three-year buyback plan by another $30 billion it would add an extra $2 per year to earnings.
Mr. Milunovich is maintaining his "Buy" rating for Apple's stock. Apple closed on Monday at $502.36 and is trading in the premarket at $505.02, up 2.66 (0.53%).
[Thanks to Marketwatch for the heads up]