Wells Fargo

The Street scrambles to adjust its Apple expectations

March 20, 2012: 2:27 PM ET

Updating price targets to account for a dividend, a buyback and 3 million iPad

Most Apple (AAPL) analysts like to publish their quarterly estimates for the current quarter the day after the company reports its results from the last. And then, unless things change dramatically, they stick with their forward-looking numbers for the next two and a half months.

Sometimes, however, Apple gets so far ahead of their forecasts that adjustments must be made.

Monday was one of those times. After Apple announced 1) a $10 billion stock buyback, 2) its first dividend since 1995 and 3) sales of 3 million iPads, the analysts scrambled to adjust their spreadsheets and published price targets. Among the new targets:

  • Morgan Keegan's Tavis McCourt: $800 (from $441)
  • FBN Securities' Shebly Seyrafi: $760 (from $730)
  • Evercore's Rob Cihra: $750 (from $650)
  • Webush's Scott Sutherland $750 (from $430)
  • Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu: $740 (from $620)
  • Barclay's Ben Reitzes: $730 (from $710)
  • Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig: $730 (from $610)
  • Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha: $700 (from $600)
  • Citigroup's Richard Gardner: $700 (from $600)
  • Goldman Sachs' Bill Shope: $700 (from $660)
  • RBC's Mike Abramsky: $675 (from $600)
  • UBS' Maynard Um: $675 (from $550)
  • Wells Fargo's Jason Maynard: $630-$660 (from $620-$640)

Those are the changes we've seen this week. Some of the increases are modest, like Barclay's 3% jump to $730.

Some are more dramatic.

The prize for biggest increase, unless we missed a note, goes to Morgan Keegan's Tavis McCourt for his 81% hike to $800 from the $441 target he set on January 19.

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