Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Ticonderoga on the new iPhone: Prepare for media blitz, long lines, unprecedented demand

October 3, 2011: 9:08 AM ET

An analyst looks at Apple as an investment opportunity today and likes what he sees

"We would rather own Apple than any other tech company in the current environment."

So writes Ticonderoga's Brian White in a note to clients issued Monday, the day before Apple's (AAPL) Oct. 4 iPhone event.

White has taken a look at the performance of Apple shares over the past two weeks and come to the same conclusion Bullish Cross' Andy Zaky did last Friday: Rather than buying on the rumor and selling on the news, as they did the last four iPhone launches, investors seem poised to do the opposite. (See Apple trading in advance of the iPhone 5 breaks the mold.)

Among White's reasons for owning Apple now:

  • The stock has fallen to the point where it is trading at 9.4 times Ticonderoga's calendar 2012 pro forma EPS estimate
  • Given the pent-up demand from the delayed launch, he believes the company will shatter the record 1.7 million iPhone 4's sold in the first three days last year
  • The iPhone is now sold to a record number of carriers (228 carriers at end of June vs. 154 a year earlier) and can now operate on CDMA networks as well as GSM
  • Following the precedent set by the iPad 2, Apple is likely to roll the phone out to its international carriers more aggressively than previous launches
  • The booming China market is likely to play a bigger role than ever before

White's price target of $666 a share is the highest on Wall Street. It is based, he says, "on nearly 20x our interest expense/income adjusted CY11 pro forma EPS estimate plus net cash per share of $81.21. Essentially, this equates to a straight P/E of 22.3x our CY11 EPS estimate and is below the 26x multiple over the last six years."

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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