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Analysts scramble to raise Apple price targets


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

A year ago, we surveyed 45 analysts and found only four who believed Apple (aapl) would rise again to $700, the high-water mark it hit in September 2012.

That was before Apple's aggressive stock repurchase plan and its 7-for-1 stock split. By last week, 64% of the analysts we surveyed had set Apple price targets above $100 a share ($700 pre-split), and more were coming around.

This week so far, three analysts have published new price targets

-- Rob Cihra, Evercore: To $115 from $100 (up 15%)
-- Walter Piecyk, BTIG: To $112 from $86 (up 30%)
-- William Power, Baird: To $102 from $95 (up 7%)

Walter Piecyk's 30% increase is particularly impressive. In a note posted Tuesday he pointed out that new smartphone leasing plans at Verizon (vz) and AT&T (t) will allow iPhone owners this fall to upgrade to new models for 0% upfront:

"Historically we estimate that ~20% of AT&T’s subscriber base was eligible for an upgrade during an iPhone launch quarter.  That eligibility dropped to a low of the mid-teens in the second half of 2013 due to the stricter upgrade policies. We expect AT&T’s new Mobile Share Value plan to increase the percentage of AT&T post-paid subscriber base eligible to upgrade to over 65% by the time the next iPhone launches. In absolute terms that is the difference between 10 or 11 million eligible for upgrades and 45-50 million."

Below: Our current spreadsheet, with targets lower than Tuesday’s $93.52 close tinted under-water blue.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 6.34.08 AM

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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