Apple’s Stock: The Case for Price Appreciation

After soaring throughout 2010, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has basically flattened for 2011.

Piper Jaffray (NYSE:PJC) analyst Gene Munster says investors are worried about Apple’s stock for three reasons:

  • The stock is already owned by major investors, so who’s going to buy up more shares?
  • Apple can’t possibly maintain its impressive growth rates and its about to run into tough comparisons for earnings from a year ago.
  • Apple’s shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been down since it reported strong earnings.

We’d add another one Munster seems to be missing: Apple is in an uncertain state right now. It’s unclear what’s happening with Steve Jobs. The next iPhone isn’t coming until September — a break from the normal pattern.

Also, we aren’t hearing rumors about any amazing new products on the horizon.

Regardless of all that, Munster says Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still a screaming buy. Here are his three reasons, direct from his note this morning:

  • “Even if the multiple does not increase or goes down, we believe the stock will move higher based on positive earnings revisions. Apple currently trades at 10.8x our CY12 EPS of $30.78 including cash, 8.5x ex-cash. Assuming Apple does more than $48 in EPS in CY14 (25% EPS growth), at current levels the stock would trade at a 6.9x EPS including cash and 4.4x EPS excluding an estimated $120/share in cash. We believe a mid-teens multiple is warranted given EPS growth rates in the mid-to-high 20s over the next four years.”
  • “We believe Apple’s entrance into a new product category, possibly televisions, will unlock new perceived value in the company, and thus the stock.”
  • “We expect Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to announce software features for iPhones, iPads and Macs at WWDC on 6/6 that could serve as a near-term catalyst, as expectations for the event are relatively low.”

Jay Yarow is an editor at Business Insider.

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