Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty is bullish on AppleNovember 15, 2012: 11:30 AM ET
"iPhone and iPad mini sales," she says, "are surprising to the upside"
FORTUNE -- Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty on Thursday joined the chorus of sell-side analysts coming to Apple's (AAPL) defense in the midst of the stock's worst sell-off since the 2008 recession. (See What's eating Apple?)
"Our Asia supply chain meetings point to potential momentum behind several key AAPL debates," she writes in a note to clients. "Namely, iPhone and iPad Mini sales are surprising to the upside, China Mobile remains a likely 2H13 catalyst, and component costs will fall in 2013 boosting margins."
In typical Morgan Stanley style, Huberty frames her price targets in three scenarios -- the bull, base and bear cases. The base case -- in which Apple holds onto its market share but neither potential catalyst (a TV or a China Mobile contract) materializes, leads to her official 12-month target of $714 per share.
To hit her bull case target -- $910 -- she estimates that Apple would need to ship 210 million iPhones and 120 million iPads next year, grow its revenue 37% and get its gross margin up to 44.4%.
So far, based on what her Asian contacts are telling her, the signs are good.