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Monday, July 14, 2014, 08:04 am PT (11:04 am ET)

Renewed confidence in Apple management puts Barclays 'back on board,' sees shares reaching $110

Though Barclays has been bearish on Apple stock since February, the investment firm changed its tune on Monday with a newly reestablished "overweight" rating alongside a new price target of $110 per share.


The New York Stock Exchange, credit Carlos Delgado via Wikipedia.


Analyst Ben A. Reitzes said in a note to investors, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, that he's "back on board" with Apple thanks in part to renewed confidence in the company's management. Previously, he had held a $95 price target, and expressed concern that Apple could be hurt by lack of growth from a maturing smartphone market.

"We believe Tim Cook has solidified his strategy and re-gained the confidence of Apple stakeholders in many ways — reversing many of the warning signs we saw earlier in the year," Reitzes wrote on Monday.

In addition, he cited weakness from key rival Samsung as a "large unforeseen buffer" that could aid Apple moving forward. Reitzes also cited checks with supply chain sources indicating very "strong" expectations for the company's anticipated new products moving into 2015.




In the shorter term, Reitzes noted that iPhone sales have been strong, thanks to unexpectedly large growth from international markets. The analyst also expressed satisfaction with the company's management, noting that Apple pulled off its transition to a new chief financial officer "seamlessly."

For the just-concluded June quarter, he predicts that Apple sold 37 million units, up from his earlier prediction of 35 million. He expects the company to report $38.33 billion in revenues, higher than market consensus of $37.85 billion.

For fiscal 2014, Reitzes believes total iPhone sales will grow 14 percent year over year to 172 million. And looking to next year, he sees growth of 15 percent to 197 million iPhones.

Barclays was the second major firm to upgrade its AAPL price target to $110 on Monday, as Morgan Stanley also issued a forecast at that price. If shares of AAPL were to reach that level, it would blow past the company's all-time high of just over $100 per share. As of Monday morning, AAPL is trading at above $96 per share.