Way to make waves: Apple analyst puts $1,001 out there

April 2, 2012

Publicity stunt or deeply held conviction? Brian White, the once oft-quoted technology stock commentator who moved to Topeka Capital from  Ticonderoga, is stoking fiery debate with his declaration of a $1,001 target price for Apple’s stock.

White, a mainstay on financial media outlets, justifies that four-digit sum by calling attention to Apple’s penetration into new markets (with the oft-rumored and apparently imminent Apple TV), its expanding footprint in China, and its unstoppable brand power, among other things.

One can only wait and see. Many observers years ago voiced derision at $500 to $600 targets. Then, in 2011, Apple stock nearly doubled. Today, the median price target on its shares stands at just a whisker below $700, Thomson Reuters data shows.

Regardless of White’s motives, the fact remains that, at $618.63 as of Monday’s close, Apple shares have come farther and faster than many other corporations in recent history; it is already the largest.

And by some estimates, it’s within shooting distance of the highest market capitalisation ever achieved by a U.S. company — none other than arch-rival Microsoft in December 1999, when it attained a value of over $614 billion. 

In a report entitled “Apple fever has room to run”, White writes: “Driven by an ever expanding portfolio of innovative products, a growing integrated digital grid, unmatched aesthetics and a brand that is able to touch the soul of consumers of all backgrounds, Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend.”

Starry-eyed dream or hard financial prognostication? You decide.

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