Analyst: Strong sales of Macs and iPhones can push Apple stock higher

“With about three and a half weeks left in the December quarter, we wanted to give an update from our latest checks into the Apple global supply chain from component suppliers to contract manufacturers to distribution,” Sterne Agree reports via Barron’s.

“We are now assuming 28 million iPhones (from 26 million) and 5.2 million Macs (from five million). We are reducing our iPad outlook to 13.5 million units (from 15 million),” Sterne Agree reports. “We are also assuming a higher gross margin of 40.9% (from 40.1%) due to a favorable product mix toward iPhone and Macs as well as fairly benign component pricing.”

“We continue to believe that Apple is positioned to outperform in this tough macroeconomic environment with its defendable strategic and structural advantages and its vertical integration,” Sterne Agree reports. “Our price target of $500 is based on a conservative 11.6 times multiple on our CY12 EPS estimate of $36.15 plus net cash.”

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