Analysts have predicted Apple’s share price could rise to over $US1000 ($A962) per share in just two years.
Following the company’s third-quarter earnings release, which saw it reveal net profit of $A8.4 billion and an increased cash pile of $A112bn, various analysts have predicted Apple’s share price, currently sitting at $574, could double by 2014.
Apple's shares fell 5 percent after releasing its figures. While the company's net income was up $A1.4 billion on the year-ago quarter, the results fell short of analyst estimates.
Apple reported revenue of $A33 billion, lower than the expected $A35.8billion.
Despite the lower-than-expected results, investment bank Piper Jaffray lifted its target to $A876 per share over the next year, with a rise to $A962 forecast for 2014, while broker Topeka Capital Markets went above all other analysts to predict a $A1069 target over the next year.
Based on the most optimistic projections, Apple is on track to becoming the world's first trillion-dollar company.
Goldman Sachs was one of a handful of analysts firms to revise its twelve-month prediction down, to $A794 per share.
Piper Jaffray said in a statement Apple’s expected iPhone 5 smartphone would boost sales from a lower-than expected result in the third quarter.
Apple sold 26 million iPhones in the three-month period ending June 30 this year, up 28 percent on the previous corresponding period, but below analyst expectations of 28 million.
“Investors were bracing for a weak June iPhone number and soft September guidance and got an even weaker iPhone number and more conservative guidance which will fuel concern heading into the Sep-12 quarter. While the concern is legitimate, we believe it is largely irrelevant because iPhone will rebound in the Dec-12 quarter as it has in the past,” the firm said in a statement.
“Importantly, Sep-12 will likely be reported after the iPhone 5 release which should more than outweigh the September iPhone number. Bottom line it's not as bad as it looks, and we believe the primary reason for the soft iPhone number is anticipation of iPhone 5 (Sep-11 deja vu)."
Topeka echoed Piper Jaffray’s comments, forecasting the current ‘dip’ to pick back up in September.
“With the iPhone 5 launch on the horizon and other potential new products in the coming quarters, we believe Apple's stock is prepared for the next major leg up."
For the three-month period ending June 30 this year, Apple sold 17 million iPads, an 84 percent increase on Q3 2011, and 4 million Macs, up 2 percent. iPod sales dropped 10 percent to 6.8 million.
“We’re thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.The company expects revenue of $A32 billion for the fourth quarter.
New products to boost sales
Apple this week also announced the availability of the latest version of its desktop operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and Apple’s Cook, in the earnings announcement yesterday, hinted at new releases ahead for later in the year.
“We’ve also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall,” Cook said. “We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we’ve got in the pipeline.”
The OS is priced at $US19.99 and brings across several features seen in the iOS mobile operating system across to Apple desktops, including Siri-style dictation to MacBooks, iMacs, and MacPros as well as Messages, Notes and Reminders for mobile and desktop integration.