More lovers have come out of the woodwork about Apple this month than Tiger Woods. The stock was initiated "buy" at both Jesup & Lamont and Calyon Securities and received positive commentary from Oppenheimer and ThinkEquity in December.
If you go back to October, the positive commentary is overwhelming. Yet in a classic contrarian move, Apple's shares remain stuck below resistance at the $200 mark as investors use this love fest to take profits, figuring the good news is already priced into the stock.
The center of analysts' affection is the much-rumored, but yet-to-be confirmed, Apple tablet device. The device will have a 10.1 inch LCD screen, e-reading capabilities and will be likely launched by late March or April, according Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer analyst, in a note late yesterday. "We have not adjusted our model to show the impact of the tablet, but we believe it will be substantial," wrote Reiner, who will be a guest on Fast Money tonight.
Despite this love, "the shares seem fairly priced based based on present sales and I don't think they get much through $200 until the company unveils details and the launch is closer," said Jon Najarian, co-founder of Trademonster.com. He points to a similar pattern that occurred before the iPhone initial launch.
Nearly 33 analysts rate Apple a "buy" or a "strong buy". Using the CNBC.com stock screener, I found that is more "buys" than any other stock out there. (Google is a close second with 32 "buys".)
The abundance of love for Apple worries Karen Finerman "a little" but not as much, because she is not "trading" Apple. Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, is holding it for the relatively long term and waiting until the earnings in late January to make any further move on the stock.
And hey, the commentary hasn't been all positive. Last month, Needham downgraded Apple to "buy" from "strong buy". So buy Apple, but just don't do it strongly.
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