Apple Stock at $1,000? Analysts Say Within Two Years
Writer CNBC.com Asia
Apple's stock will top $1,000 within a two-year timeframe, driven by the possible launches of iPhone 5 and an Apple TV before Christmas, as well the tech giant's relationship with China Mobile to sell devices in the world's largest mobile-phone market, analysts tell CNBC.
"I couldn't be more bullish on Apple right now," Brian White, Analyst with Topeka Capital Markets, a broker-dealer, told CNBC Asia's "The Call" on Tuesday. "When I look forward to the fall, we have got an iPhone 5 expected in September, I think we are going to see an iPad mini at the same time in September, we have got an Apple TV that's clearly on its way in the next several months... I couldn't get more excited about Apple."
White, who was the first to breach the $1,000 price-target mark with his $1,001 stock-price forecast for Apple, raised it further in April to $1,111 within a 12-month timeframe.
Appleshares closed nearly 2 percent lower on Monday after the company's conference for software developers failed to impress markets. Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops and unveiled details on its latest X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 operating systems. It also introduced its own version of a mobile mapping service and improved the search capabilities of its Siri voice assistant.
Still, the stock's up 39 percent so far this year, and White says investors shouldn't read too much into Apple's decline overnight.
"When you look back in history, Apple's stock usually does not do much around these announcements. And I think there was a fair amount of hype built up ahead of this... but there wasn't a brand new product category launched like Apple TV," he said.
Scott Sutherland of Wedbush Securities agrees that Apple's stock uptrend remains intact, and believes that the tech giant could be a trillion-dollar company by as soon as two years, translating to a stock price of just over $1,000.
"It will be choppy in the near term but I think we are going to finish the year very strongly," Sutherland, Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush said. "You take out the cash and next year's numbers, Apple is trading less than 10 times earnings and it's a company that's still growing 20 percent plus. So it's a cheap stock out there and if they keep delivering on the numbers and strong growth, $800 is just going to be a stop-off point."
Sutherland agrees that the key catalyst for a stock rally will be the rollout of the fifth version of the iPhone, which he describes as the "biggest upgrade cycle," and the introduction of a television product.
He added that China, which has been a huge driver of sales growth for Apple, will continue to be a bright spot, especially if China Mobile starts selling the iPhone.
China Mobile, the world's biggest telecom carrier by subscribers, said last month that it is negotiating with Apple to carry iPhones in China.
The firm is the only Chinese operator that does not officially carry the popular smartphone because its homegrown 3G technology is not supported by the chips used in current iPhone models.
"They (Apple stores) are selling millions of iPhones in China, they don't even have that formal relationship with China Mobile," Sutherland said. He added that Apple's efforts to integrate local languages in China and emerging markets to its devices are a good move.
"I think that's going to be a continued growth engine for Apple in China and other emerging markets," he said.
—By CNBC’s Jean Chua.