“Morgan Stanley is out positive on Apple this AM saying they continue to believe new product announcements and margin expansion will drive AAPL shares higher in 2008. In the near-term, unit expectations need to come down as the product line transitions to higher ASP offerings (iPhone, iPod Touch) But, strong Mac shipments and Apple’s ability to leverage favorable component pricing, leave their CY08 above consensus EPS unchanged,” Notable Calls reports.
“Beyond industry checks, the firm would point to a 34% YoY increase in R&D and 170% YoY increase in Steve Jobs’ airplane expense in the December quarter as signs Apple is preparing for meaningful product launches,” Notable Calls reports.
“Piper Jaffray’s Gene Muster is also out positive on Apple this morning noting that while it is way too early to make a definitive call on March qtr iPod units, they have analyzed the first month of NPD data (Jan.) for the quarter and found that it suggests iPod units of 9.5m-10.3m,
“Street consensus for March quarter iPods is 10.8m, representing a 2% y/y increase;the midpoint of the 9.5m-10.3m range suggests a 6% y/y decline. Firm sees this data point as a slight positive, given recent Street chatter of a very weak iPod number for the quarter,” Notable Calls reports.
Morgan Stanley has reiterated their “Overweight” rating with a $185 price target. Piper Jaffray has reiterated their “Outperform” rating, Alpha List status, and $250 price target.
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