The average Apple analyst's price target has fallen to $740December 28, 2012: 8:37 AM ET
Eleven lowered their 12-mos. targets in December, yet few stocks have as far to go
FORTUNE -- Analysts tend to get nervous when a stock they follow drifts too far from their published price target, and few stocks are as widely followed or as far out of whack as Apple (AAPL).
Eleven analysts lowered their Apple targets in the final weeks of the company's first fiscal quarter of 2013, which ends Saturday. And although the average of the 48 we polled is now $740, that's $225 (44%) above the stock's closing price Thursday.
By comparison, AOL (AOL) -- on a rebound that made it one of the hottest tech stocks of the year -- is trading 39% below its mean target. Microsoft (MSFT) is at 28%, Google (GOOG) at 13%, Amazon (AMZN) at 12% and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) at -4%, which means it's trading for more than analysts think it's going to be worth a year from now.
Below the fold, I've posted an updated list of the latest published price targets. I've also created the frequency chart at right. It tends to isolate the outliers (including a low of $270 and a high of $1,100). You can see pretty clearly that 30 of our 48 analysts expect Apple to hit somewhere between $700 and $800 before the end of 2013. It closed Thursday at $515.06.
Below: The individual price targets, with the December changes highlighted in yellow.