As Apple (AAPL) preps for its biggest day of the year next week, at least one Wall Street firm has raised its price target on the company’s stock in anticipation of the launch of three new iPhones.
Canaccord Genuity set its price target at $250, up from $220, saying it expects the launch will “drive a continued strong upgrade cycle,” encouraging people to buy higher-margin, more expensive iPhones.
“Given the strong consumer satisfaction with iPhones, we anticipate Apple will continue to grow its global share of the premium smartphone market,” analyst T. Michael Walkley wrote in a note Monday. Apple’s share of the worldwide smartphone market, including both premium and less costly phones, slipped to 11.9% from 12.1% in the second quarter of the calendar year, according to the market researcher Gartner. This left it at No. 3 in the world, after Samsung Electronics (South Korea: 005930) and Huawei Technologies, both of which posted year-over-year gains.
Walkley expects Apple to offer two new OLED-screen iPhones and a more affordable LCD iPhone on Sept. 12. If the devices’ launch leads to gains in market share, as he expects, that could lead to more gains for the stock, the analyst says. Apple shares are up 35% this year, through Tuesday’s close.
Apple shares closed 0.3% higher at $228.36. Earlier, they hit a record high of $229.18.
Sales of iPhone have propelled Apple revenue—they accounted for 56% of its $53.3 billion in third-quarter revenue—and the price of the stock. Since they debuted in June 2007, Apple’s stock has soared more than 1,200% and the company reached $1 trillion in market value on Aug. 2.
“We believe Apple has locked up strong share of the premium tier market and will continue to dominate highend smartphones sales and capture the vast majority of smartphone profits for the next several years,” wrote Walkley, who reiterated his buy rating on Apple shares.
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