Apple expert Gene Munster: This is 'the golden opportunity' to buy Apple

Perhaps Apple can get even greener.

The tech giant rose 2 percent Tuesday, hitting its highest level ever in intraday trading and closing at a record high of $143.80. The move came after UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, who has a $151 price target on the stock, released a research note arguing that Apple could rise to $200 in the next few years.

Gene Munster, who was Piper Jaffray's widely followed Apple analyst before leaving to launch Loup Ventures, said Tuesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch" that such a move could well be in the cards.

"Our range is $180 to $200," he said. Due to poor performance in the prior year, year-over-year comparisons "get so easy for them over the next few quarters — they go from 3 percent to 12 percent growth from now until September."

In addition, "you've got all the hype around the phone. It's 171 days, most likely, until the next iPhone is released."

For these two reasons, the next several months should be "clear sailing for Apple investors," Munster said. "Traders should think about — this is the golden opportunity. Own it into the hype while the numbers get better, and probably trade it off once that phone gets announced."

Examining the charts, Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald concludes that the stock's ability to break above what he deems prior resistance at its 2015 peak of $135 "is a sign of new demand for the shares."

Looking forward, Wald forecasts that the stock's break above its prior $90 to $135 range "measures to $180." This is based on the theory that the size of the move out of the range will be equal to the size of the range itself. By this logic, after trading in a $45 range, the stock will move $45 above $135.

Interestingly, then, Wald's and Munster's totally different types of analysis suggest the same target, $180 — which would represent a further 25 percent rally for the shares, even before dividends are factored in.

The stock presents "a very attractive risk-reward balance," Wald said Tuesday on "Power Lunch."


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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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