Topeka: Sticking with a target two times Apple's current priceNovember 8, 2012: 10:49 AM ET
With Apple trading below $550, Brian White's price target still stands at $1,100
FORTUNE -- Of all the sell-side analysts who have stuck their necks out on Apple (AAPL) -- and with a mean price target or $667, there are plenty -- none is further out on a limb than Topeka Capital's Brian White. He set a 12-month target of $1,100 a share last April and hasn't budged since.
On Thursday, with Apple's shares trading as low as $541 -- less than half White's target -- he took the occasion of his monthly "Apple Monitor" report to reassure his clients.
After noting that preliminary sales among Apple's Taiwanese suppliers are up 29% from last year and 9% from last month -- considerably higher than their average 2% monthly increase over the past seven years -- he turned to the recent pressure on Apple's stock price.
This Correction in Apple is Similar to the Other Three Over Past 13 Months. Apple's stock has clearly been under selling pressure in recent weeks as the negative news cycle has accelerated and the Apple bears are now making the case for why the Company has lost its edge. Apple may also be susceptible to tax-related selling before an increase goes into effect in 2013. Apple is no stranger to a negative news cycle and corrections of 15% or more. In fact, 15% or more decreases in the stock have occurred four times over the past thirteen months. For example, a 16% decline (peak to trough) was experienced in Sept-Oct of 2011 and a 15% decline in Oct-Nov of 2011, followed by a 19% decline in April-May of 2012. The decline from the recent peak in September reached 21% as of yesterday's low.
Opportunity to Buy or Reason to Panic? Similar to other corrections in Apple's stock, the fears in the back of investors minds come to the forefront and the bear stories gain credence. We have heard it before, we're hearing it now and we expect to hear it again in the future. However, these concerns have proven dead wrong over the years and based on the product lineup at Apple, we believe they will be dead wrong in the foreseeable future. With Apple trading at just over 8x (ex-cash) our CY13 EPS estimate, we believe that those investors that have missed the Apple rally over the past year are presented with a very attractive entry point heading into the strong holiday news season. The iPhone 5 and iPad mini are blockbuster new products that we believe will prove to be big hits this holiday season and into 2013, combined with the new iPad, MacBook Pro, iMac and iPod lineup.
Take it for what it's worth.