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Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland reiterated an Outperform rating on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares on Tuesday while raising his price target to $885 from $800. In his note to investors, Sutherland talked about big positives for the company from the impending launch of the next-generation iPhone and presumably an iPad Mini as well as a television set a little later.
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While Sutherland’s note was published before Apple actually announced an event for September 12 and added credence to the speculation that the iPhone 5 was on its way, the analyst worked on pre-existing hints. He raised his revenue estimate for the fiscal year to $156.6 billion from an earlier figure of $155.9 billion, and the EPS to $44.04 from $43.68. He raised his iPhone unit estimate to 24 million from 21.6 million, noting that an LTE-enabled iPhone will be “a major selling point” for Apple.
Sutherland was also of the opinion that Apple’s iPhone launch would “overshadow” the new product releases from rivals Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola, as well as Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) this month.
The Wedbush analyst added he expected the “iPad Mini” to be announced in the December quarter, while a television set could come in 2014. He also increased his iPad unit estimate for the fiscal year to 94.2 million from 90.8 million.
“Product pipeline remains robust with mini iPad on deck then Apple TV,” Sutherland wrote. “We have long held the belief that providing a range of screen sizes to satisfy consumer choices makes the most sense in the connected device world. In addition, we believe it is in Apple’s best interest to close the door on the lower end smaller form factor table market. We now expect Apple to introduce a smaller iPad, the iPad Mini, next quarter.”
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