Morgan Stanley Thinks Apple Shares Are Ripe For Picking Right Now

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Investors are still digesting yesterday’s rare disappointing earnings announcement from Apple.For now, the stock is down around 5% in pre-market trading.

But this could be a big buying opportunity, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

In a brand new note titled Near-Term Pain Offset By Long-Term Gain, Huberty writes:

“Owning AAPL ahead of iPhone product cycles pays off. AAPL shares increased 30% on average and outperformed the S&P 500 by 27% on average in the three months leading up to prior iPhone product announcements. We expect similar strong performance ahead of iPhone 5 which we believe will feature LTE connectivity and a new form factor (thinner, new casing). While weaker than expected Jun/Sept Q results are disappointing near-term, it potentially sets up for even stronger sequential results in the December quarter.”

Huberty reiterated her buy rating and $720 price target on the stock, which represents a potential 25 per cent return.  Her bull case price target is $960.

Revenue came in at $35 billion versus the analysts’ expectations for $37 billion.  Earnings per share came in at $9.32 versus expectations for $10.36.

The reason for the disappointment seems to be a shortfall in iPhone sales.  But as SAI’s Jay Yarow put it, Apple’s excuse for the miss can be summarized in two words: fall transition.  This is the idea that consumers are holding off on iPhone purchases until the new one comes out, which is a sentiment shared by Huberty.

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