Apple 2.0

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Analysts scramble to keep their targets ahead of Apple's price

September 18, 2012: 9:24 AM ET

The company's shares are moving faster than their spreadsheets

FORTUNE -- On Sunday BMO Capital's Keith Bachman, citing "earlier availability" of the iPhone 5, raised the price he expects Apple's (AAPL) shares to reach in the next 12 months from $680 to $750.

He was already three days too late.

The stock, which opened September at $665.76, smashed through $680 last Thursday, closed Friday above $691 and finished Tuesday at $701.91.

Bachman is not the only Wall Street analyst having trouble keeping up with Apple's share price. More than half of the analysts we track raised their 12-month price targets this summer into the 750-900 range ($770 is currently median target, according to Thomson First Call). We expect they'll have to do it again before January.

Meanwhile, we've got several analysts at exactly $700 and at least two -- Pacific Crest's Andy Hargreaves ($690) and Morningstar's Michael Holt ($670) -- well under water.

At the other end of the spectrum, Topeka's Brian White set a Street-high $1,111 target in April and seems to be sticking with it.

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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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