On the morning of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 event, Apple gets a rare upgrade

March 14, 2013, 2:07 PM UTC

Note the spike at 7:50 a.m.

FORTUNE — Apple’s (AAPL) share price popped $3.50 in pre-market trading shortly after 7:50 a.m. Thursday. That was just about when — to the minute — BTIG’s Walter Piecyk e-mailed clients a note upgrading the stock from “neutral” to “buy” for reasons that are so perverse only Piecyk’s words can do them justice:

“Apple will soon report quarterly results which might not only miss its own guidance but could also include guidance for the upcoming June quarter that is $5 billion below consensus. Samsung, its toughest competitor, is announcing its latest Galaxy phone later today that is sure to dominate the headlines in the coming days and resurface questions of whether Apple’s reign has ended. Meanwhile, the management team can’t seem to figure out what to do with its $150 billion cash hoard and the Apple TV feels like a distant dream. If that’s not enough, our Fiscal 2013 EPS estimate is $3 below a consensus estimate that has fallen $10 since its peak and reflects no growth from last year. What better time to upgrade the Stock?

Piecyk, to his credit, has more to say. He’s also lowered his price target (to $540). You can read all about it at Upgrading Apple to Buy.