Apple stock feels impact of iPhone 4S

The absence of iPhone 5 news put investors off yesterday. Now we'll have to see if there's any lingering effect from that bout of disappointment.

Investors were put off yesterday by Apple's underwhelming iPhone news. Today we'll see if their overall infatuation with Apple kicks back into gear.

Shares slumped yesterday following the unveiling of the iPhone 4S --there had been widespread and fervent expectation of an "iPhone 5"--but intraday trading showed things could have been worse.

At around 10 a.m. PT yesterday when Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at his company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, Apple's shares started to inch lower. When Apple announced the iPhone 4S, and as it became abundantly clear that an iPhone 5 would not be announced, the company's shares lurched down about $20 to approximately $355 a share.

But that was about as bad as it got. Bolstered by a late-day trading surge on Wall Street, Apple shares started to climb out of the slump, ending the day down just $2.10 or about 0.56 percent.

Although the drop isn't major, it is notable, considering how the rest of the market performed. The Dow Jones ended the day up 1.44 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 2.95 percent. The technology sector was up 2.63 percent.

Even so, many analysts are saying that it's not time to sound the alarm on Apple's stock just yet. Shelby Seyrafi, an analyst with FBN Securities, said in a statement today that the firm is maintaining its "outperform" rating on Apple's stock. In addition, FBN Securities believes Apple's 2012 fiscal year earnings per share will increase from $34.98 to $35.83, thanks to the iPhone 4S and lower pricing on the company's other handsets. FBN Securities has also upped its 2011 iPhone sales estimate from 108.4 million to 114.8 million.

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Perhaps most important to investors, FBN Securities expects Apple's shares to continue to rise, and hit a price target of $530 per share in the next twelve months. Analyst Ashok Kumar of Rodman & Renshaw is also bullish on Apple's shares, telling the Washington Post yesterday that Apple's stock should rise to $450 per share over the next year.

Kumar's estimate falls in line with what most other analysts are saying. Based on estimates from 52 Apple analysts, the average target price for the company's stock over the next year is $450.

Given Apple's recent history, climbing so high doesn't seem all that unlikely. Over the last year, the company's shares have risen nearly $90 for a gain of 31.85 percent. Since January 1, Apple shares are up 15.5 percent. Just a couple weeks ago, Apple's stock hit an all-time high of $413.23 per share.

Although things were looking up for Apple's stock this morning--pre-market trading showed the company's shares down just 32 cents, or about 0.09 percent--intraday trading has been hard on the firm so far today. As of this writing, Apple's stock is down $3.13, or about 1 percent.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Update at 7:22 a.m. PT to include Apple's current stock price.

 

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