Apple’s share price overtakes Wall Street’s 12-month targets


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

As of Wednesday morning Morgan Stanley's and Oppenheimer's were under water



Most sell-side Apple (aapl) analysts are conservative in their earnings estimates but bullish in their price targets. According to Thomson/First Call, the Street high target this week is $700 and the median is a dollar short of $600. (The independent analysts are even more optimistic; the biggest number we've seen is Robert Paul Leitao's $790.)

But with Apple topping $525 in heavy mid-day trading Wednesday, the stock is starting to overtake price targets set less than a month ago, including some from the biggest names on Wall Street.

As of noon Wednesday, analysts whose 12 month price targets were underwater included:

  • Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty ($515, set 1/25/12)
  • Oppenheimer's Ittai Kidron ($510, set 1/25/12)

It's not clear whether these two really think the company is overvalued, or if they just haven't been paying much attention lately.

UPDATE: Apple shares fell steeply shortly after noon, giving up the day's gains and then some. According to Aaplpain's Travis Lewis it was options-induced sell-off. "So many calls are out there people have to close them 'cause they can't afford the shares," he wrote. "When they start to close them causes that big sell-off."

The stock closed at $497.67, down $11.79 (2.31%) and nearly $29 off its high for the day.

UPDATE (2/18/2012): Oppenheimer's Kidron has upped his target to $570. Morgan Stanley's Huberty is sticking with $515.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions