FORTUNE -- Like Apple's (AAPL) shares, the price targets analysts set for the company have been on a jagged downward slide since last September. Until Monday, that is.
That's when Barclays' Ben Reitzes broke the streak and upped his 12-month target to $525 from the $465 valuation he set three weeks ago, just before Apple's March quarter earnings call.
"We believe the near-term set up is still quite positive," he wrote in a note to clients. "First, we feel better about gross margins -- we believe that our estimates for the June and September quarters are conservative given potential trends in warranty accruals, mix and Apple's pricing plans. Second, we believe Apple is about to change the narrative and get investors, analysts, customers and the media finally talking about new products again -- starting with a software/services/Mac event on June 10th and a likely iPhone/iPad event in September. Third, upon further reflection -- we didn't fully appreciate at first how much of a relief it was for Apple to unveil a bigger buyback. As a result, the buyback's size may help the multiple a little more than we even thought a few weeks ago."
According to a report from Stifel Nicolaus, the FTC must move to block the Admob-Google merger by next week unless Google agrees to an extension in order to negotiate a settlement.
The Google Admob deal has been sitting in regulatory purgatory since Google wrestled the company away from Apple's clutches last year. An analyst's report today says the wait might soon be over.
The Google (GOOG) Admob deal is seen as significant MORESeth Weintraub - May 6, 2010 6:17 PM ET
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