Analyst gets excited about Apple, raises target price by 27%

Chicago (IL) – Kaufman Bros. Shaw Wu is one of the most prominent Apple analyst these days and his word carries weight. So it is really no surprise that the Apple community is cheering when he raised the Apple stock target price from $120 to $152, based on his thoughts that the iPhone 3.0 firmware, the upcoming Mac OS X Snow Leopard as well as the rumored netbook suggest there is new room for growth.

The note of a dramatically increased stock price target may catch one or the other geek on the wrong foot. In the end, we are in a recession, remember? But Wu is convinced that there is no other way for Apple’s stock than to go up and his report fuels another round of rumors that are believed precede the introduction of a new iPhone in June.

According to MacNN, Kaufman “suggests are several factors offering potential growth. Among these is WWDC in June, which should herald imminent shipment of the iPhone 3.0 firmware and new phones to match.” Wu’s memo, which we here at TG Daily have not seen, apparently also makes note of the potential of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, a possible netbook, as well as lower service plan costs, and an overdue update to the Apple TV. Key to Apple’s growth will be the continued success of the iPhone, which takes a much greater share of Apple’s overall revenue every quarter.

The company has sold about 20 million iPhones so far and we hear word that Apple has ordered an additional four million iPhones so far and has placed orders for “100 million units of 8-gigabit and 16-gigabit NAND flash chips, with the bulk of its order coming from its main iPhone chip supplier, Samsung.” It seems that a 32 GB version of the iPhone is in the works since the orders have shifted towards the newer 16 Gb devices.

Apple’s market capitalization is currently about $107.5 billion. If Wu is correct, then Apple will hit a cap of more than $135 billion, which would put the company in the same neighborhood of IBM, which currently stands at $133 billion. In comparison, Intel currently has a market cap of about $88 billion, Google is at $119 billion, Dell at $20 billion, HP at $82 billion and Microsoft at $174 billion.