Analysts have had three weeks since Apple reported its best quarter ever to breakdown the results and the verdict is finally in: Apple should be the most valuable company on earth.
After underestimating iPhone and iPad sales for the last year, analysts as a group have ratcheted their numbers up for Apple this year more than any other technology company, according to analysis by Bespoke Investment Group.
“iPhone sales are tracking above our last forecast, triggering an upward revision in our forecast of phone sales going forward,” wrote Charles Wolf, an analyst for Needham, in a report yesterday that placed a $450 price target on the stock. “While the increase in iPhone sales in our new model was relatively modest, it nonetheless added $50 to our price target because of the profitability of the phone. The migration of feature phone users to smartphones accelerated in the second half of 2010, suggesting that even our new forecast could prove to be conservative.”