Coring Apple: Good earnings, but analysts say no bottom yet
Wall Street cheered Apple's rally Wednesday after the company's better-than-expected quarterly report, but analysts remain hesitant to say this could be the turning point for the tech giant's bruised stock.
"We've made a little progress today, and it's a nice bounce, but the stock is still very much range-bound over the last five months," said Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners. Apple's "going to need a little more progress to really think we're out of the woods."
Apple reported earnings and revenue Tuesday afternoon that easily exceeded Wall Street expectations. In addition, it posted iPhone sales that solidly topped forecasts, offsetting weaker-than-expected iPad sales. Apple shares surged as much as 6 percent Wednesday.
(Read more: Smartphone 'saturation' fears for Apple, Samsung)
"For now, the stock is a really good risk/reward, given the decline it's had and the start of some stabilization, but it's still a little premature to say that you reach in and buy on today's move," Newton said.
Apple, the once-darling tech giant of Wall Street, has lost the luster and momentum it had going into the end of last year amid intense competition from companies such as Samsung and the pressure to deliver new products.
The stock has also suffered, with Apple hitting its one-year low of $385 a share in April. It is more than 35 percent off its record high of $705 last September, when it unveiled the iPhone 5.
Analysts were mixed on the stock in the wake of the earnings announcement. Most notably, Goldman Sachs raised its target share price to $530 from $515, while BMO upped its rating to outperform from market perform. But Mizuho and Stifel slashed their price targets to $520 and $540 from $550 and $600, respectively.
"Getting over the $445 level would be a temporary positive—if you look at the daily charts since February, that defines the highs of the stock over the entire range," Newton noted. "Next, I want to see a move over $460, which is the May high. If we can see that, that would suggest the stock could really start to accelerate and get up toward $501 and potentially $538."
Meanwhile, some analysts were hopeful that Apple's launch of a new product, expected sometime in the third quarter, will fuel the shares.
"Expectations are very low for the stock," said Tom Forte, senior research analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, who sees a bottom in the low-$400 range. "If they came out with a television or an iWatch [when they were] at $700, it may not have moved the stock higher, but at today's levels, there's still upside."
(Read more: Apple investors bet cheap iPhone can offset China)
"In the next 12 months, as they launch the next-generation iPhone and iPad, that innovation will drive the stock higher."
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
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