Why Apple stock is oversold
Shares of the personal technology pioneer have lagged behind the Nasdaq, but the stock should get a pop on consumer demand for its newest products.
Apple (AAPL) has wildly underperformed other technology stocks, making the shares a bargain as the company enters the holiday shopping season with a new iPhone, iPad Mini and Mac laptops.
That's what many Wall Street analysts are saying.
Over the past three months, Apple shares have lost 18.6%, compared with a loss of 7.3% for the technology benchmark Nasdaq ($COMPX). Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White believes this drastic under-performance might be over. He called the sell-off in Apple shares "insanely insane," given the valuation at which Apple shares are trading. According to White's calculations, Apple is trading at 7.6 times 2013 earnings, excluding cash.
"Those investors that have missed Apple or have been under-weight the stock now have another opportunity to buy Apple before sentiment takes a turn for the positive during what has historically been the strongest quarter of the year for the stock," White wrote in his note. He rates Apple "buy" and has a $1,111 price target on shares, the highest on Wall Street.
There are several theories why Apple shares have plunged -- consumers tiring of Apple products, a lack of innovation, or competition from Samsung, Google (GOOG), Amazon.com (AMZN) and others. Additionally, there is concern that Apple's incredibly wide profit margins may shrink as the company announces new products and gets squeezed by its suppliers.
Plus, there are factors outside of the technology industry weighing on the stock, including the so-called fiscal cliff, a weak European economy and year-end tax-related selling by shareholders.
Rumors of a Samsung price hike on application processors sold to Apple proved untrue, but that possibility remains and would erode Apple's profits if it were to happen.
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Holiday sales in focus
Though Apple has had its share of negative press, the company has bright prospects going into the holiday shopping season and into 2013. The iPhone 5 is a hit, having sold 5 million units in its first weekend of availability; the iPad Mini has been well received by reviewers and consumers; and the redesigned iMac, scheduled for release later this month and in December, was the most eye-catching product at Apple's October product launch.
Topeka Capital Markets' White isn't the only super-bullish analyst on Apple. The average price target on shares is $760, according to data from Thomson Reuters. That's 44% higher than where Apple shares closed on Nov. 16, and it factors in a 30.2% return so far this year. Amazon.com shares are right behind Apple, gaining 30.1% since the beginning of January. Google shares lag, with shares up only 0.2%.
More from TheStreet.com
-Samsung sells more phones including smart phones than apple., 4 times as many
-Google Android trounces all over iOS and has a market share worldwide of 75% whereas apple struggles at just 17%
-Amazon's Kindle Fire has taken a huge chunk out of apple's tablet market share. a year ago, apple had 90% of the tablet market share, today that's down to just over 50%
apple's shares are falling because they're products are boring and are no longer a fashion statement.
Don't buy, don't buy.
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