Apple Inc shares surged 6 percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday, a day after the company posted stellar results even by its own lofty standards, prompting several analysts to raise their earnings targets for the iPhone maker.
Apple's second-quarter results were driven by blockbuster sales of the iPhone and strong Asian business, while concerns over iPad 2 supply constraints and the launch of iPhone5 eased.
We believe that buyside sentiment has been improving as the uncertainty over the iPhone5 launch abates and that Apple's fundamentals remain compelling, given its leadership positions in the fast growing smartphone and tablet markets, Bernstein Research said in a note.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo raised their earnings estimates on Apple by 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Data from Thomson Reuters Starmine suggests more earnings upgrades could be on the way. For 2011, Starmine's predicted surprise -- the difference between the consensus and Starmine's estimates that gives a higher weight to the most accurate forecasters -- was a positive 2 percent. For 2012, it's 4 percent.
Most analysts said Apple's forecasts for the September quarter were conservative, given the large number of product launches that were due.
Apple, notorious for its conservative forecasts, estimated earnings for the September quarter of $5.50 a share on revenue of $25 billion, below analysts' average estimate of $6.45 a share on revenue of $27.7 billion.
We would be buyers as we view the guidance as too conservative and believe the new products will drive the stock higher, Jefferies said.
Susquehanna raised its price target on the company's stock to $535 from $465, citing Apple's move to cloud services with its iCloud offering. Gleacher & Co raised its price target to as much as $500.
The mean price target on the stock is $453.30, according to Starmine data, which indicates analysts expect the shares to more rise by more than 13 percent in the next 12 months.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)