Analyst Ups Apple Stock Price Target to $699, URBN at $31, Whole Foods a Top Pick

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Jefferies raised its earnings estimates for Apple above consensus and price target for shares to $699 following its trip in Asia. Jefferies is more positive on Apple’s prospects following the trip, and said it expects production of the iTV to begin in May/June. The firm raised its 2012 earnings estimate to $45.90 from $44.32 and keeps a Buy rating on the stock.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA): RBC Capital expects ARIAD’s first drug, Ridaforolimus for bone/soft tissue sarcomas., to get a positive recommendation from an FDA panel next week. However, the firm recommends buying the stock if the vote is unfavorable or if the panel issues documents viewed as negative for ARIAD, as Ridaforolimus is only responsible for a tiny part of ARIAD’s stock price, according to the firm. RBC Capital maintains an Outperform rating on ARIAD.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN): After Urban Outfitters reported lower than expected Q4 EPS, RBC Capital expects the company’s merchandise to improve over the net several quarters. The firm thinks the company is a good turnaround story and maintains a $31 target and Outperform rating.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): UBS believes non-traditional food retailers will continue to commoditize traditional grocers and deteriorate pricing power. The firm recommends buying company’s with growth that is driven by square footage growth, price competition, and differentiation and named Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) its top pick and prefers Ruddick (NYSE:RDK), and The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM).

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com