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Apple shares gain the most in 2 1/2 weeks on Monday, stock upgraded to “Buy” at Loop Capital as firm cites strong 2021 sales outlook

Loop Capital has raised its rating on Apple Inc (AAPL) from “Hold” to “Buy”, while assigning a 12-month price target of $131, as the firm highlighted stronger iPhone build and shipment outlook.

Apple shares closed higher for a fourth consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Monday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since November 11th. The stock went up 2.11% ($2.46) to $119.05, after touching an intraday high at $120.97, or a price level not seen since November 16th ($120.99).

Shares of Apple Inc have risen 62.17% so far in 2020 compared with a 12.10% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Apple’s stock went up 86.16%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Loop analyst Ananda Baruah now projects a “scenario of upside to consensus in near-term iPhone build and shipment forecasts (iPhone 13 build forecasts also look positive relative to consensus) as well as upside to Mac, iPad, and likely AirPod, Watch, and Services sales well into calendar year 2021.”

Loop has revised up its full-year 2021 forecast on Apple’s earnings per share to $4.23 from a previous projection of $3.89 per share. In comparison, market consensus points to full-year EPS of $3.87.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 37 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $133.00, with a high estimate of $150.00 and a low estimate of $74.10. The median estimate represents an 11.72% upside compared to the closing price of $119.05 on November 30th.

The same media also reported that at least 22 out of 40 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 11 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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