Wednesday, January 02, 2013, 07:45 am PT (10:45 am ET)
Apple declared top tech pick for 2013, investors advised to be 'selective' in techA new year could mean a fresh start for Apple's stock, which took a 25 percent hit to close out 2012 but is predicted by one analyst to rebound strongly while uncertainty surrounds the rest of the tech market.
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said in a note to investors on Wednesday that Apple is his top overall pick for 2013. He believes the losses AAPL saw in late 2012 were largely tax related, and not a reflection of how most investors feel about the company's future.
"We believe there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple, including the potential for greater choices (i.e., colors, sizes) around the next iPhone in 2013, combined with accelerating momentum with the iPad mini and continued strength with the iPad franchise at large," White said.
While he's bullish on Apple at the start of 2013, White is "skeptical" of the tech industry at large, and advises investors to "remain selective." Topeka covered a total of 20 tech companies in 2012 that collectively grew 9 percent, behind the 13 percent increase seen by the S&P 500 Index.
"For 2013, we are taking a similar approach to our tech universe, avoiding the more cyclical tech names for the most part and focusing on companies best positioned to benefit from key secular tech trends that we believe are in place this year," he said.
His concerns for the technology industry in 2013 include "challenging" trends in Europe, continued limited government spending, and "muted economic growth expectations" in the U.S.
Potential high points for the industry this year are centered on the mobile Internet, particularly in China. White views the Chinese market as especially important for Apple, as he noted last week that China has shown "insatiable demand" for the newly launched iPad mini.
White also anticipates a deal with China Mobile, the largest carrier in the world, as a potential catalyst for Apple in 2013, though not guaranteed. He also expects Apple to release a full-fledged television set, and said it's likely that at least one of those catalysts will become a reality this year.
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