This week, Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, who is known for being unfailingly bullish on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), is predicting the iPhone maker is likely to generate the highest annual net income this year of any publicly traded company in history. White wrote in a note to investors that he estimated Apple’s net income in this calendar year to be more than six times higher than that of Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) individually when those companies were at their respective peaks, and almost twice the aggregate profit of the three combined.
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White added that the Wall Street theory that once a company reached the $500 billion market cap mark, it would have trouble growing much beyond that point was not likely to hold true for Apple. “We went back and analyzed five U.S.-based companies that at one time enjoyed market capitalizations of (about) $500 billion or more, but found little similarities with Apple,” White wrote. As of Monday morning, Apple’s market cap was at about $545 billion. Today, Apple’s market cap is at roughly $550 billion.
Of those five — Cisco, Exxon (NYSE:XOM), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Intel, and Microsoft — all except Exxon had rich price-to-earnings ratios when they crossed the $500 billion mark and held “monopoly-like market share positions.” White insists Apple is different because it still has room for growth and does not hold a stranglehold on most markets where it competes.
“Microsoft held over 90 percent market share for PC operating systems at the peak cap, while Cisco had over 70 percent share in the networking market, and Intel had over 80 percent of the PC processor market,” White wrote. “By comparison, IDC estimates that Apple held just 4.7 percent of the PC market in (the first quarter of 2012) and 8.8 percent share in the mobile phone market.”
Among the points in Apple’s favor, according to White, are the forthcoming rumored new iPhone with a 4-inch display, an iPad mini that is said by some to be launching in September, and an upcoming Apple HDTV. He reiterated a Buy rating on Apple’s stock with a price target of $1,111, nearly twice the $586.71 shares of Apple are trading at Wednesday morning.