I know, Apple hasn’t even confirmed that it will introduce an iWatch. Yet Wall Street is all about expectations, and Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty is so confident that the iWatch will be a hit that she raised her target stock price for the company today — helping it to touch a 52-week high of $96.89 before closing at $96.33, +1.2%. “We view the Apple ‘halo effect’ rather than the current watch market as the more accurate predictor of iWatch sales,” she says. In her first forecast for the product, she figures Apple could sell as many as 60M iWatches in its first 12 months in the market at an average of $300 apiece — as much as half the price going straight to Apple’s bottom line. Consumers would wear a watch “with more sensors, and better form factor and aesthetics than competing devices in the market priced at $100-$250,” she says.
Huberty scales back her forecast in the math that led her to raise the stock target to $110 from $99. She assumes 41M iWatch shipments in the first year contributing about $12B in revenues. The product will be “an important barometer of the company’s innovation capabilities under the leadership of [CEO] Tim Cook,” she writes.
In addition to the iWatch projections, the analyst says that Apple’s iPhone sales figures for Q2 should impress investors next week when the company discloses its earnings. She expects Cook to unveil a hybrid iPad/MacBook Air product in 2015 and a smart TV over the next three years.
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