Stars continue to align for Apple Inc.

Apple Online Store“The stars are aligning for another strong year for Apple (AAPL), whose products continue to deliver robust sales momentum in the holiday season,” Sheena Lee writes for Seeking Alpha.

“Sales should get a further boost from the expected arrival early next year of the Verizon iPhone, making Apple less dependent on AT&T’s worst-in-class network,” Lee writes. “Add in a second generation iPad and such innovations as the ‘iWallet’ payment system for the iPhone and it’s easy to see why analysts continue to boost their price targets for the company.”

Lee reports, “The median target price of analysts tracked by Alacra Pulse is $375, unchanged from October, while the mean has risen to $376.53 from $374.76. All 38 tracked analysts have a positive rating on the company.”

Full article, with the current 12-month price targets of selected sell-side and independent analysts, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]

15 Comments

  1. Again, why does everyone think the iPhone on Verizon is a sure thing? Did I miss the announcement from Jobs?

    I hope it’s true, but why do so many treat this as a fact when all we’ve seen is speculation based on rumors?

  2. @Azurite,
    Like you I’m baffled why the latest “iPhone coming soon to Verizon rumor” is assumed to be a done deal when it’s actually the latest in a long series of IDENTICAL rumors going back over 3 years and spaced roughly 5 months apart.

    Remember, the industry has incentives to spread this rumor:

    (1)
    Verizon has an interest in spreading The Rumor because it keeps people from switching to their competition, AT&T.

    (2)
    Apple has an interest in spreading The Rumor because it halts the sales of their competition, Android (while customers wait for the iPhone “coming soon” to Verizon).

    (3)
    Google and the Android phone manufacturers can’t come out and say “It’s not gonna happen” because that’ll anger their carrier/partner, Verizon.

  3. @Davidlow,

    Conspiracy theories aside, certainly this rumor has had traction since the iPhone was first announced, because the speculation was valid (and obvious). The iPhone is bound to come to Verizon, the question is, of course, “when?”

    There is of course an exclusivity contract. Although the exact terms of it have never been made public, it’s been reported to be 5 years. It seems natural that the closer we get to the 5 year mark there would be an increase in the number of rumors. Because the exact terms have never been made public, it’s possible there are easy-outs for Apple, or Apple could’ve renegotiated the contract.

    However, the rumors now have pushed past a certain level. Usually, when we see rumors being reported by the WSJ, NYT, etc… with emphatic certainty, they turn out to be true. That’s because, unlike the bloggers, the “credible news sources” are verifying the rumors through sources they can’t name (or else they couldn’t be sources in the future). These sources come from component suppliers, partners, and employees at Verizon/Apple.

    Now it could be that these rumors of a 2011 Verizon iPhone turn out to be false, but this time, unlike all previous times, it’s based on more than just the obvious speculation that an iPhone on Verizon would be popular.

  4. @TimD

    Which targets will it hit? The $330 or the $500? Why hasn’t Apple even hit the lowest of the targets yet? Is there some skepticism that Apple won’t do well in their usual best quarter? There’s almost no chance at all that Apple will miss any of their numbers even in this weak economy. There has to be some doubts if the stock keeps hitting $320 and falling back. The rise and fall of the stock does seem to parallel the DJIA and Nasdaq. It can’t break away completely. Let’s hope that this quarter’s revenue triggers upward movement.

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