Although Apple’snew iPadlacks two new features that one senior research analyst had been hoping for, he is not changing his estimates or expectations for the tech giant’s stock.
“Apple is a tremendous company,” said Matthew Hoffman, managing director and senior research analyst at Cowen and Co. “The stock clearly anticipated this new product coming out. I think it will take a breather here in the short term, but as we gauge consumer demand and how the consumer responds to the new hardware, I think at that point, that’s really the next game — that’s the next catalyst for the shares here.”
Hoffman projects sales of 12.7 million units for the model this quarter.
The new iPad’s high-end model will be able to operate on a high-speed 4G “LTE,” or Long-Term Evolution, network. This new network will function at speeds roughly 10 times faster than the current 3G technology.
“If it starts looking like it’s going to track ahead of that with a great launch, then you’ll see the stock work up again,” he said.
In an interview with CNBC, Hoffman said he had hoped the new product would include the ability to engage in FaceTime on 4G and make phone calls using LTE technology, although “other than that it’s pretty much a homerun,” he said.
He added that he would love to see Apple push the ball forward on face-to-face video communications, which he called “the next frontier for wireless.” Consumers are still not able to engage in peer-to-peer video communications in a fully mobile setting while using the new iPad.
Although the new product does not entirely live up to Hoffman’s expectations, he plans to keep his estimates for Apple’s stock unchanged for now.
“What we’re hoping for from Apple is imagination,” he said. “They really have more imagination and innovation than anyone else in the space. We sit there as consumers hoping than they can push the ball farther than other people have pushed it. In this case, they pushed the ball — we just hoped it had been more, but our numbers are predicated really on a more conservative base case, and I think that really is where the Street is generally.”
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Matthew Hoffman does not own any stock in Apple, and Cowen & Co. does not have an investment banking conflict.
Follow Katie Little on Twitter @katie_little.