Oppenheimer

Apple's share price overtakes Wall Street's 12-month targets

February 15, 2012: 10:48 AM ET

As of Wednesday morning Morgan Stanley's and Oppenheimer's were under water

Most sell-side Apple (AAPL) analysts are conservative in their earnings estimates but bullish in their price targets. According to Thomson/First Call, the Street high target this week is $700 and the median is a dollar short of $600. (The independent analysts are even more optimistic; the biggest number we've seen is Robert Paul Leitao's $790.)

But with Apple topping $525 in heavy mid-day trading Wednesday, the stock is starting to overtake price targets set less than a month ago, including some from the biggest names on Wall Street.

As of noon Wednesday, analysts whose 12 month price targets were underwater included:

  • Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty ($515, set 1/25/12)
  • Oppenheimer's Ittai Kidron ($510, set 1/25/12)

It's not clear whether these two really think the company is overvalued, or if they just haven't been paying much attention lately.

UPDATE: Apple shares fell steeply shortly after noon, giving up the day's gains and then some. According to Aaplpain's Travis Lewis it was options-induced sell-off. "So many calls are out there people have to close them 'cause they can't afford the shares," he wrote. "When they start to close them causes that big sell-off."

The stock closed at $497.67, down $11.79 (2.31%) and nearly $29 off its high for the day.

UPDATE (2/18/2012): Oppenheimer's Kidron has upped his target to $570. Morgan Stanley's Huberty is sticking with $515.

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