Apple Receives Big Love from Wall Street Analysts

Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is nearing a fresh all-time high and may enter a new bull orbit if analysts’ forecasts for the company turn out right.

Bill Shoppe, analyst at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), adjusted his estimate for Q4 earning per share to $9.94 a share, up from $9.44 and higher than the average of estimates at $9.87. “We believe Apple is set to report healthy December quarter upside and all signs point to better than expected performance through 2012,” Shoppe noted.

For 2012 he expects a combination of factors such as continued momentum in iPhone sales; outperformance by the iPad post the launch of iPad3; and, the Mac business significantly outperforming competitors in the notebook market. These catalysts are expected to drive earnings and ultimately the stock price higher.

Analyst Charlie Wolf, of Needham, is more bullish. Wolf revamped his Q4 earnings per share from $9.55 to $10.85. His primary reason was higher than previously estimated iPhone and iPad sales.

Here’s how Apple shares are reacting to the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $426.52, up $4.12, or 0.98%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $426.70. Volume today was 3,661,943 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 14,774,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.41, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share.

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

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