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."
BTIG's Walter Piecyk rates Apple a "buy" for all the wrong reasons
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) share price popped $3.50 in pre-market trading shortly after 7:50 a.m. Thursday. That was just about when -- to the minute -- BTIG's Walter Piecyk e-mailed clients a note upgrading the stock from "neutral" to "buy" for reasons that are so perverse only Piecyk's words can do them justice:
"Apple will soon report quarterly results which might MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 14, 2013 10:07 AM ET
This time it's Jefferies' Peter Misek, lowering his price target to $420 from $500
FORTUNE -- Not content to issue two negative reports on Apple (AAPL) in the space of two days last month (Apple is losing the screen-size war and Apple could face a rough two years), Jefferies' Peter Misak was back at it again Tuesday...
Cutting his fiscal Q2 iPhone estimate (to 35 million from 37.5 million)
Lowering his price target MORE
Was CNBC's favorite Apple bear prescient when he told clients to sell Apple in Jan. 2012?
FORTUNE -- I've received eight e-mails in the past two days from a reader named Greg Bates who thinks I really ought to take another look at Ed Zabitsky, now that Apple (AAPL) is trading in the low 400s.
You may recall that Zabitsky, who runs a one-man boutique in Toronto called ACI Research, got more than MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2013 8:38 AM ET
The difference between Wolf and Wall Street may be that he values Apple's cash holdings
FORTUNE -- There's something about Charlie Wolf's approach to Apple (AAPL) that I find charmingly old school -- perhaps because he's been in the business even longer (14 years at First Boston and 15 at Needham & Co.) than I have.
Most analysts seem to change their mind about Apple's prospects every time the wind shifts; Baird Equity's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 25, 2013 12:43 PM ET
Having missed the run-up from $560 to $705, it's back with a "buy" at $571
FORTUNE -- Citigroup (C) was getting a lot of press Monday morning for "initiating" coverage of Apple (AAPL) with a buy rating and a $675 price target. Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal called it "one of the big calls of the day."
That's ironic, because when Citi dropped its coverage of Apple six months ago with the departure MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 26, 2012 11:38 AM ET
From $840 set in September and reiterated two weeks ago to $780 on Monday
FORTUNE -- In an odd research note issued Monday, Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig lowered his price target on Apple (AAPL) to $780 from $840 even while assuring clients he "remains positive despite recent volatility."
He attributes the stock's recent eight-week sell-off to four factors:
(1) investors locking in profits heading into the year-end and a potential capital gain MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 19, 2012 10:38 AM ET
|The medical marijuana ad that never aired, despite contrary media headlines|
|2 million students missing out on college aid|
|Boeing reports wing cracks on Dreamliners|
|The bull market at 5: Not old yet|
|Boeing to end pension plans for non-union employees|