There was a time when being an Apple analyst was easy.
You just picked a big number for a price target, watched Apple race up to that number, and then eventually pass it. Before Apple passed your big number, though, you picked another big number.
Following that pattern, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster slapped a $900 price target on Apple earlier this year. And Apple did what it always does, racing up to $900, hitting $702 in September.
But then, a twist. Apple's stock has been in decline since. It's down 27%.
Munster is staying put with his. For now.
In a new note, he explains why he still believes the stock is going to get to $900. It mostly comes down to a belief that Apple has a television coming next year:
Why The Stock Can Work Looking Forward. The bottom line is that we believe AAPL needs something that investors can look forward to in the numbers for the stock to work well. We believe a core reason the stock worked in early 2012 was expectations for the iPhone 5 as the stock started the year at ~$411 and peaked at ~$702 in September ahead of the iPhone launch (71% increase at the peak). In 2011, we believe the stock worked (from $323 to $422 at the peak, 31% increase) due to anticipation of the next iPhone and iPad ramp. We are more optimistic about 2013 as we believe Apple will not only launch a television, but also a lower priced iPhone for pre-paid markets in 2014 or potentially sooner.
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