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Apple Valued Near $1 Trillion? One Analyst Says It's Possible

Apple's stock price could go to $960 or higher, giving the tech giant a market value approaching $1 trillion, a Morgan Stanley analyst said Wednesday.

Apple’s stock soared to a fresh record following the call by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty.

The new iPad is displayed during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca.
Getty Images
The new iPad is displayed during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca.

Her price target—which would value Apple at about $900 billion (it currently is about $540 billion)—is based on more businesses adaptingiPads, a new iPhone running on a faster wireless network and emerging market growth.

The forecast represents a 69 percent gain from Tuesday’s closing stock price.

“Despite being well above investor expectations we view our CY13 bull case (of) $80 EPS/$960 valuation as reasonable,” Huberty wrote in a note to clients. “We assume no multiple expansion despite a possible dividend.”

Apple shares are up 44 percent this year after selling an astounding number of iPhones and announcing a new iPad last week.

The stock surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the world earlier this year.

The amazing move in Apple this year has many investors (and now one analyst) thinking the company could be the first to reach $1 trillion in market value, a milestone that Wall Street once dreamed about for companies like Cisco and Microsoft during the late 1990s.

Those dreams were dashed after the tech bubble burst and sky-high growth multiples of 30 times—even 50 times—earnings came crashing back to earth. But unlike back then, Apple’s price-earnings ratio is currently just 17.

Morgan Stanley’s Huberty put a "base case" price target of $720 on Apple in the report, up from her previous target of $515.

The less-bullish price target would occur if “China Mobile and TV catalysts don’t materialize,” she said in the report. Both cases are based on a price-earnings ratio of 12, which is at the low end of Apple’s historical forward P-E range, according to the analyst.

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941
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CSCO
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MSFT
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AAPL
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XOM
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