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Needham raises Apple target to $97, expects Swift programming language to enhance iPhone superiority

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Investment firm Needham on Tuesday broke its typical semi-annual schedule and updated its price target for Apple stock to $97, citing stronger than expected iPhone sales and also the surprise announcement of a new programming language called Swift.

LLVM


For the last five years, analyst Charlie Wolf has revised his Apple price target twice per year, in February and August, after the company would report its first- and third-fiscal-quarter results. In February, Wolf had a pre-split price target of $590 --?a number that Apple quickly exceeded thanks in large part to blockbuster iPhone sales that surpassed market expectations.

After the 7-for-1 split, Wolf's target was at $86.32, still well below Apple's trading price. Given that his projection looked on track to remain underwater until his next scheduled update in August, Wolf opted on Tuesday to break out of his pattern and revise his target higher to $97.




Wolf cited three reasons for the unexpected increase, chief among them being the surprise success of the two-and-a-half-year-old iPhone 4S in the March quarter. Apple's most affordable handset accounted for an estimated 25 percent of iPhone sales in the quarter, which suggests that consumers in emerging markets are buying in to the company's ecosystem.

Another reason for Wolf's increase was the introduction of the new Swift programming language at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. The analyst said on Tuesday that he believes Swift was the most significant announcement from this year's WWDC.

"If software does indeed drive hardware choices, we believe Apple has leapt ahead of the tools available on the Android platform," Wolf wrote. "This in turn should translate into an increasing percentage of high-end Android users switching to the iPhone when they upgrade."




The final reason for Wolf's increase is his expectation that Apple will launch a larger-screened iPhone this fall. He believes a new iPhone with a screen size in the five-inch range would target a segment of the market that's estimated to account for 25 percent of high-end smartphone sales.

Needham & Company is the latest investment firm to raise their price target on Wall Street. Earlier this month, Cowen & Company upped its projection to $102, while RBC Capital Markets also revised its target to $100.
post #2 of 13

Of course. :)

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #3 of 13
Nice work, Wolf. 😴 (is it possible to roll one's eyes while they're still closed?)
Edited by SpamSandwich - 6/24/14 at 7:44am

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 13

I raise the target to $100 without Apple having to do a damn thing.

na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #5 of 13

Completely OT:

 

I got what I consider a wonderful birthday present recently... a handful of AAPL.  It's the first stock I've ever owned.

 

Yeah, I'm not expecting to make a load with it, it's more a pride/vanity thing.  But I would have never had the courage to even investigate stocks, if not for this forum.

 

Snark all you want about the wisdom of my timing, but in the meantime, this is my way of saying "thanks" to the regular posters out there.  You know who you are.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

Completely OT:

I got what I consider a wonderful birthday present recently... a handful of AAPL.  It's the first stock I've ever owned.

Yeah, I'm not expecting to make a load with it, it's more a pride/vanity thing.  But I would have never had the courage to even investigate stocks, if not for this forum.

Snark all you want about the wisdom of my timing, but in the meantime, this is my way of saying "thanks" to the regular posters out there.  You know who you are.

If you have no real interest in following the ups and downs of the market, just commit to regular, scheduled purchases of the stock (usually monthly). You'll build value over time using this strategy, known as "dollar cost averaging".

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 13
I update my price target daily. To what ever the current price is. How's that for accurate.

Seriously though, at 92-ish, Apple is pretty undervalued just from a technical perspective. Add in the subjective side of the analysis and it just looks even more undervalued.
post #8 of 13

Why is there a picture of the LLVM Dragon in an article talking about Swift? Shouldn't the Swift icon be there instead?

 

I too will raise my price target because I think Apple is going to release a smaller iPhone nano for emerging markets. /s

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Why is there a picture of the LLVM Dragon in an article talking about Swift? Shouldn't the Swift icon be there instead?

I too will raise my price target because I think Apple is going to release a smaller iPhone nano for emerging markets. /s

Dragon... bird... what's the difference, right?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 13

That $97 target is damn ridiculous.

 

Does that firm really believe that AAPL will be at $97, 12 months from now?

 

The target makes no sense at all.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

That $97 target is damn ridiculous.

 

Does that firm really believe that AAPL will be at $97, 12 months from now?

 

The target makes no sense at all.

I know, $197. is more like it, especially if everything in the pipeline comes to fruition.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

Completely OT:

I got what I consider a wonderful birthday present recently... a handful of AAPL.  It's the first stock I've ever owned.

Yeah, I'm not expecting to make a load with it, it's more a pride/vanity thing.  But I would have never had the courage to even investigate stocks, if not for this forum.

Snark all you want about the wisdom of my timing, but in the meantime, this is my way of saying "thanks" to the regular posters out there.  You know who you are.

My advice: reinvest the dividend in Apple shares. You'll be surprised how much you make over the years.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Why is there a picture of the LLVM Dragon in an article talking about Swift? Shouldn't the Swift icon be there instead?

I too will raise my price target because I think Apple is going to release a smaller iPhone nano for emerging markets. /s
Swift is a new language but it still uses an updated variant of the same LLVM compiler. It's more of a big upgrade to Objective C than a whole new language, just a lot of syntax changes. The syntactical differences make it look a lot more different than Objective C than it really is.

As a developer who has played around with Swift in the new Xcode 6 beta, it's not that revolutionary. While it will certainly be easier for most beginners to learn than Objective C was, it isn't an enormous change for seasoned developers making important and widely used apps. It doesn't add a ton of revolutionary housekeeping.

That isn't to say that Apple hasn't done a great job with Swift, because it is a great change. But it's not going to bring a ton of amazing new apps to your iPhone either. It's effect on Apple's growth and performance vs. competitors is being way overstated by Needham in his analysis.
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