Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets is baffled by the sharp selloff of Apple stock during the company's strongest quarter of the year. In the latest downturn, the company's value is off 28 percent from its peak in September.
He noted that Apple has delivered annual growth that is 13-fold greater than the S&P 500 over the last eight years. Despite this, Apple trades at a 20 percent price-to-earnings ratio discount when compared to the S&P 500.
"While we don't expect Apple to grow (earnings per share) by 92% per annum over the next five years, we believe 20-30% growth is reasonable based on the company' slow market share in mobile phones and PCs, combined with growth opportunities in tablets and new potential areas such as Apple TV," White wrote in a note to investors on Monday.
Apple stock price over the last three months, via Yahoo Finance.
Apple had $121.3 billion in cash at the end of its fiscal year 2012, amounting to nearly $128 per share, or 24 percent of the company's stock price. Even if Apple decides to pay out a higher dividend to investors, White believes Apple will still hold nearly $204 billion in net cash by the end of fiscal 2014, which would amount to $212 per share or 40 percent of the current stock price.
"As such, the dividends that Apple can afford to pay out in the future are significant," White said, "and there is no reason why Apple should not currently be paying out at least a 3-4% dividend yield (or $16-$21 per share) versus the current 2% yield (or $10.60 per share)."
Despite recent losses, Topeka Capital Markets is standing by its $1,111 12-month price target for AAPL stock.