UBS analyst Steve Milunovich has affirmed his ‘Buy’ rating on Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) shares and maintained his price target of $780 saying that a combination of valuation, earnings momentum and technical factors “suggest that it is a good time to be building positions into the new year.”
Milunovich says in his research note that the stock is near its five-year lows for both its P/E and enterprise value/free cash flow measures. “Multiples could improve with a chance for upside earnings surprises coming and earnings momentum bottoming in the Dec quarter,” he adds. He goes on to say, “We expect the gross margin to return to the mid-to-low 40s,” from 40% in the quarter ended September, and the company’s projection of 36% for the December period.
He further says that technical indicators point out to better days for the stock ahead. According to him, the stock’s four-year trend line remains intact, and the net retracement hovers around first Fibonacci support at $560. “Another sign is the recent low in the net new-buyers-to-selloffs ratio. Also, on Nov. 19 the stock exhibited a key reversal day on its highest volume since March. Finally, we see a similar price pattern that has played out in other iPhone cycles, in which the stock corrects after introduction then rallies.”
The analyst also says that despite the fact that growth managers have booked profits in the Apple stock, value investors are showing great interest.
Meanwhile, Finnish cell phone maker Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK), today launched two new models, the Asha 205 and the Asha 206, priced at around $62 plus subsidies and taxes.
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Both the phones will hit store shelves later this quarter.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says that Knight Capital Group Inc. may sell its market-making business, which took a hit of $460 million thanks to a trading glitch in August.
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Knight takes orders from large brokers like TD Ameritrade and routes them to exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2011, the market-making business had earned a net income of $256 million on revenue of $705 million. But in the third quarter this year, the company lost $764.3million including losses due to the glitch.
Shares of KCG are up 10.55% to $2.76 at mid day.
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