Apple Still a Buy, Says Analysts

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By Ian Sherr

Investors may be undervaluing Apple Inc. even as its shares near all-time highs on the strength of hit gadgets like the iPhone and iPad.

On Wednesday, investors had a new reason to re-evaluate one of the most popular destinations for equity investments: the resignation of co-founder Steve Jobs as chief executive.

Apple shares on Thursday eased $2.46, or 0.7%, to $373.72 in 4 p.m. Nasdaq Stock Market trading, as investors paused to consider how the company might change, even though Mr. Jobs’s departure wasn’t unexpected.

The ebb in Apple’s share price will likely prove fleeting, analysts and investors say. The company has built commanding positions in its mobile-device business, enjoys margins that are the envy of other manufacturers and has created a brand as closely associated with technology as that of Nike Inc. is with athletic equipment. The company also has $76 billion in cash that accounts for more than a fifth of its market valuation.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs expect Apple’s shares to grow by nearly a third to $490 over the next 12 months, a view broadly shared in the analyst community.

“Apple is priced like they’ve taken all the market share they can and I think that’s crazy,” said Kevin Landis, president of SiVest Group, which owns Apple shares. “It’s on its way to being the most innovative and dominant consumer electronics company in the world, and the lock they have on the market is breathtaking.”

 

 

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(Published August 26, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal.)