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Gene Munster Expects Apple Growth, Dividend

Friday, 10 Feb 2012 | 4:12 PM ET

As Apple stock climbs toward $500 per share, one widely followed Internet analyst remained bullish on certain tech stocks.

“Actually, I think Apple is one of the biggest tech laggards given that earnings revisions have been so positive, but the stock hasn’t reacted,” Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said Friday on “Fast Money.”

Google the Laggard?
Apple has been on fire with the stock nearing $500, but on the other hand, there is Google, with Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray.

“This is a delayed reaction that we should’ve seen for the last couple of quarters,” he added. “Despite the fact the stock keeps going up, I think there’s a lot more room to go.”

Apple closed up 0.05 percent at $493.42 per share after having hit yet another all-time high of $497.62 earlier in the day.

Munster, who rated the stock “overweight” and maintained his $670 price target, expected Apple to pay a dividend within three to six months.

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But not all tech stocks enjoyed similarly positive sentiments.

Yahoo: “They need to do something that’s innovative for once,” Munster said. “I still think they should buy Hulu. They need to do this because it’s a great fit with business, and they need to get into a secular growth theme, which they’re not a part of today.”

Amazon: “Don’t bet against amazon,” he said. “Despite all the investors’ fears about revenue growth, I think you need to own it.”

Google: The stock has lagged partly due to the company’s lack of guidance on its acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

Analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford Bernstein weighed in positively on the tech sector.

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Tony Sacconaghi, Sanford Bernstein, sheds insight on Apple stock as it gets closer to $500.

“There’s a lot of skepticism about technology stocks for the last couple of years,” he said. “Tech stocks started the year as basically the lowest relative valuation versus S&P in over 20 years.”

Apple’s stock performance was justified, he said, calling the company a “great growth story operating in a great growth markets. But the high stock price I think distracts from the fact that this is really a very attractively valued stock.”

Sacconaghi noted that at $500 a share, Apple had over $100 a share in cash, and that it would see an estimated $45 in earnings for the year.

“This stock, taking out the cash, is trading at about 9 times earnings, which is incredible for a company that is going to grow earnings 60-plus percent this year,” he said.

Sacconaghi, with a price target of $600 per share, also thought a dividend was likely.

“I think that would also put some legs under the stock and buffer it from swings going forward if, ultimately, Apple does indeed do that,” he said.

IBM: “IBM is at its very high end in relative multiples, and I don’t think there’s much opportunity going forward,” he said.

Patty Edwards of Trutina Capital also liked tech stocks overall.

“Dell and Apple in particular, while I love them and I am long Apple, my concern is that they have parabolic moves, and parabolic moves do not end well. It’s got to come down, then I’d be interested in buying some more,” she said.

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Trader disclosure: On Feb. 10, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Scaramucci is long AAPL; Scaramucci is long C; Scaramucci is long GS; Scaramucci is long CSCO; SkyBridge Capital Is A Fund Of Funds Manager; Anthony Scaramucci is one of 8 national finance chairs for Mitt Romney campaign; Scaramucci a fundraiser for Mitt Romney and has contributed to the Romney campaign; Najarian is long AAPL; Najarian is long BAC; Najarian is long GS; Najarian is long NFLX; Najarian is long INTC; Najarian is long CSCO; Najarian is long IBM; Najarian is long RVBD; Najarian is long ALL; Najarian is long DIS; Najarian is long FIO; Najarian is long LNKD;

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own CSCO

Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own HPQ

Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own MU

Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own P

Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own ZNGA

Grasso is long NUAN

Grasso is long S

Grasso is long XLU

For Zach Karabell
Karabell is long TGT

Karabell is long AAPL

Karabell is long IBM

Rivertwice is short GS puts

Rivertwice is short XLF

For Patty Edwards
Trutina Financial is long AAPL

Trutina Financial is long GLD

Trutina Financial is long INTC

Trutina Financial is long JOYG

Trutina Financial is long MAT

For Tony Sacconaghi
Toni Sacconaghi maintains a long position in Seagate Technology (STX).

Mit Shah maintains a long position in Apple Inc. (AAPL).

Bernstein currently makes a market in the following companies AAPL / Apple Inc.

For Gene Munster
I or a household member have a financial interest in the securities of the following companies: none

I or a household member is an officer, director, or advisory board member of the following companies: none

I have received compensation within the past 12 months from the following companies : none

Piper Jaffray or its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equities of the following companies: none

The following companies have been investment banking clients of Piper Jaffray during the past 12 months: ACOM, DANG, DRIV, MOBI, YNDX, YOKU

Piper Jaffray expects to have the following companies as investment banking clients within the next three months: none

Other material conflicts of interest for Gene Munster or Piper Jaffray regarding companies in my universe for which I am aware include: ACOM, YNDX, YOKU: underwriting

Piper Jaffray received non-investment banking securities-related compensation from the following companies during the past 12 months: ACOM, DRIV

Piper Jaffray makes a market in the securities of the following companies, and will buy and sell the securities of these companies on a principal basis: AAPL, ACOM, AMZN, BIDU, DANG, DRIV, EBAY, GOOG, IACI, LOGM, MCHX, MELI, MOBI, PRTS, RLOC, SINA, SOHU, VCLK, WWWW, YHOO, YNDX, YOKU

Piper Jaffray usually provides bids and offers for the securities of the following companies and will, from time to time, buy and sell the securities of these companies on a principal basis: none

For Amelia Bourdeau
No disclosures

For Bryan Stockton
No disclosures

For Jeff Weiner
No disclosures

For Jeff Kilburg
Kilburg is long TLT

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