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Strong demand for iPhone 6 & 6 Plus persists, prompts Piper Jaffray to raise Apple price target to $135

Piper Jaffray has been tracking availability of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at Apple Stores and continues to see demand outstripping supply, leading the investment firm to raise its price target on AAPL stock on Thursday.




Analyst Gene Munster's new target of $135 is up from his previous prediction of $120. He announced the revision on Thursday alongside the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus supply data collected from 80 Apple Stores.

Through their regular checks, Munster and his team have gauged same-day in-store pickup availability of Apple's latest iPhones. As of Nov. 14, Piper Jaffray found that 58 percent of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models were available in stores.

While that's up significantly from the 6 percent availability tracked in mid-October, it still shows that Apple has a gap to close in order to catch up to consumer demand.

Munster believes it's likely that Apple will reach 100 percent availability for same-day in-store pickup by the end of December. But he added that supply limits could extend into March, as he believes many consumers will wait to buy an iPhone.

Piper Jaffray has also been tracking online availability of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple's online store has seen improvements internationally though lead times are unchanged in the U.S. At the moment, new iPhone 6 orders are advertised to ship within 7 to 10 business days, while the lead time for the iPhone 6 Plus is 3 to 4 weeks.




Piper Jaffray is the second investment firm to set a new, higher price target of $135 this week. Evercore Partners also raised its target this week, telling investors that it expects Apple will reaccelerate revenue growth to 15 percent year over year in fiscal 2015.

Shares of Apple have seen significant gains over the last month, with the company trading at new all-time highs and record market capitalization levels. Those gains have prompted a number of analysts to revise their price targets in recent weeks.

Just this week, RBC Capital Markets upped its target on shares of AAPL to $120, as analyst Amit Daryanani told investors he expects the Apple Watch will earn $10 billion in revenue in its first year of availability.

And earlier this month UBS set a new target of $125, after analyst Steven Milunovich revealed the results of a new survey showing the potential for substantial market share for the jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus. Milunovich believes demand for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus could be about 190 million total units through December of 2015.