Topeka Capital: Apple sell-off is now 'insanely insane'November 19, 2012: 9:14 AM ET
Apple grows 13 times faster than the S&P 500 but trades at a 40% discount ex cash
FORTUNE -- You can add Topeka Capital's Brian White to the growing chorus of sell-side analysts coming to Apple's (AAPL) defense after an eight-week slide that at Friday's intraday low had knocked 28% off its share price and $187 billion off its market cap. (See What's eating Apple?)
"The sell-off," White wrote his clients Monday, "has gotten to the point of being 'insanely insane.'" I quote:
Apple is now trading at just 7.6x (ex-cash) or a straight P/E of 9.8x our CY13 EPS projection and below the S&P 500 Index at 12.5x.
Apple's discount to the S&P 500 becomes even more of a "head scratcher" when you compare growth rates. For example, between CY03 through CY11, Apple has grown EPS by 92% per year versus just 7% growth for the S&P 500 Index.
Essentially, Apple has delivered annual growth that is 13-fold the S&P 500 over the past eight years but trades at a 20% P/E discount (or 40% discount ex-cash).
While we don't expect Apple to grow EPS by 92% per annum over the next five years, we believe 20-30% growth is reasonable based on the Company's low market share in mobile phones and PCs, combined with growth opportunities in tablets and new potential areas such as Apple TV.
"Those investors that have missed Apple or have been under-weight the stock," he concludes, "now have another opportunity to buy Apple before sentiment takes a turn for the positive during what has historically been the strongest quarter of the year for the stock."
White, it must be said, has a pony in this race. His Street-high $1,111 price target -- set last April -- has been more than double Apple's stock price for the past seven trading sessions. See Sticking with a target.