What's next for Apple? Look at 2013

Apple could rally 50% by Sept.: Analyst
Apple could rally 50% by Sept.: Analyst

One top technology analyst said he's a buyer of Apple's stock, saying the price could jump 50 percent by September.

The six months leading up to the launch of a new iPhone have historically boosted the company's multiple an average of 11 percent — a pattern that Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster expects to continue into September's expected iPhone 7 launch, he said Friday on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report"

"We think this is a golden opportunity to be more aggressive," Munster told CNBC. "We've been positive on Apple but there are periods we think are just unique opportunities and this is one of them."

Apple Store employees fill orders for iPhones in Palo Alto, California.
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Part of his prediction is based on what Apple did in 2013 after the somewhat disappointing 2012 iPhone 5 launch, which Munster compares to the current iPhone 6S cycle. The only time that Apple has traded at a lower multiple than the current 9.7 times forward earnings per share was in April 2013, Munster wrote in a research note Thursday.

Shares of Apple were up more than 50 percent one year after April 2013 and up more than 120 percent two years after, Munster wrote. Could the next two years be similar?

Munster's call comes as shares of Apple have pulled back near their 52-week low in the past two months, due in part to concerns around slow sales at iPhone suppliers, paired with a skittish stock market at home and economic uncertainty in Apple's fastest-growing market, China. Indeed, fellow analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford C. Bernstein told CNBC in October that Apple's best days were behind it.

But while investors are "handcuffed" waiting for a massive reset in the stock, Munster contends the bad news is already priced in to the stock.

Apple Store in New York City
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After weeks of struggling to poke above $100, shares of the iPhone maker have finally started to trim losses ahead of next week's earnings, up more than 4 percent midafternoon Friday. It's a situation not unlike that of April 2013, Munster wrote.

To be sure, macro concerns remain "wild cards" for Apple, according to Munster, particularly currency headwinds from the strong U.S. dollar. But Munster isn't alone in seeing the potential upside in Apple.

Though Apple has consistently held a "buy" rating on the Street, the mean analyst consensus over the past six months has trended closer to "strong buy" territory. Munster has an "overweight" rating on the stock, though he has had consistently bullish price targets for the company.

He also has another word of advice for Apple CEO Tim Cook: It's time to use that pile of cash to buy Tesla from Elon Musk.

"If they can replicate the success of BMW, which is about 2 million cars a year ... that would add $135 billion in revenue to Apple's business," Munster told CNBC on Friday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Disclosure: Piper Jaffray was making a market in the securities of Apple at the time of this research.