After a seven-month run that took Apple (AAPL) shares to an all-time high in late September, the company’s stock plummeted more than 25% and touched new lows as 2012 drew to an end. According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, Apple’s strong portfolio, a reversal of the negative news trend surrounding the company, and a fresh new “iPhone 5S” will help the stock rebound in 2013, and he maintains a Buy rating on Apple shares with a sky-high price target of $1,111.
“Apple is our top overall pick for 2013,” White wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday that discussed Topeka’s stock picks moving into the new year. “With the 25% correction in Apple’s stock from the high in September, the stock is now trading at just 7.7x our CY13 EPS estimate (less cash) and the company’s portfolio has never been stronger, in our view.”
He continued, “We believe tax-related selling was largely to blame for the downward bias in the stock price as we exited 2012 and this created a negative news cycle around Apple that we believe will be broken as we enter 2013. We believe there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple, including the potential for greater choices (i.e., colors, sizes) around the next iPhone in 2013, combined with accelerating momentum with the iPad mini and continued strength with the iPad franchise at large.”
White went on to explain that the iPad mini has seen incredible demand thus far in China, outselling the full-size iPad in the country. The analyst also called the rumored China Mobile iPhone launch and release of Apple’s HDTV “moving targets,” and he expects at least one of these major catalysts to become a reality in 2013.
In a separate note, White said that according to his checks with Apple’s suppliers, the next-generation iPhone will represent a huge departure from earlier models.
“Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers,” the analyst wrote. “This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April.”
White believes the next iPhone will be available in five different colors: pink, yellow, blue, white & silver and black & slate. He also believes there will be two different screen sizes available on the device, marking the first time Apple has released one phone with multiple display size options.
“Our checks are also indicating that the next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size,” White reported. “Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model. We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach.”
He continued, noting that multiple screen sizes could allow Apple to better address emerging markets with a lower-cost iPhone.