Analyst: Here’s Why I’m Still Keen on Apple

camera_image iphoneThe list of analysts who are concerned about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) future prospects is growing ever longer; on Wednesday, Citigroup and Barclays Capital lowered their price targets on Apple’s shares and their estimates for the company’s second fiscal quarter, with both brokerage firms arguing that Apple’s dropping mobile market share has begun to pose a problem. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also expressed his concerns regarding international iPhone sales in a note to investors circulated on Wednesday as well.

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But there are some Apple bulls remaining.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin put the company at the top of his recently-published list of Goldman-covered stocks with the most upside opportunity; he noted that Apple — which was trading at $441.40 at the time — had a 49.5 percent upside to the firm’s price target of $660.

Paul Theron, chief executive officer and equities asset manager at Vestact, offered up another positive assessment of the company’s future on Thursday. The fund manager is a longtime Apple enthusiast, as he told MarketWatch, and since November 2008, when the stock traded at $95.88, he has steadily been accumulating shares…
Declining iPhones sales have concerned many of his peers; Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung put forward an argument on Wednesday that the device is running out of momentum. Theron has no such concerns. He told MarketWatch that the smartphone market has “many years of solid sales” in its future, and that Apple can still capitalize on that with the iPhone. Basically, what Theron was suggesting, is that Apple makes a good product and the smartphone market still has room to grow, which will keep demand strong.

We are still keen on Apple,” he said, outlining his firm’s position.

However, he did note one problem. “I don’t think that the market properly values the changes that Tim Cook has made to the production platform, and all the new iPhone network partners in developing countries.”

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Theron did not try to deny the smartphone market’s competitiveness, rather he made a case for how Apple can beat the competition rising from handset-manufacturer Samsung (SSNLF:PK) and Android-creator Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). “I like Apple’s niche at the top end of the market,” he said. “Tim Cook’s investments in the production system will pay off in the years ahead in terms of both fattened margins and shortened development cycles,” the hedge fund manager added. In other words, the future is bright.

Here’e how Apple has traded over the past 3 months:

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