Citing 'long tail' of iPhone 6 & 6 Plus sales, Cowen raises Apple target to $140

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Projecting that iPhone sales will again top 50 million in the current June quarter, investment firm Cowen and Company raised its price target on Apple stock to $140 on Tuesday, on continued strong sales of the flagship iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Analyst Timothy Arcuri issued a note to investors, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, raising his target from $135. He cited supply-side sources who indicated that iPhone sales for the June quarter are likely to be around 50 million, a number higher than sell-side expectations of between 45 million and 46 million.

If Arcuri's predictions prove accurate, it would represent 42 percent year over year growth for the iPhone.

Revenue-wise, his forecast calls for revenue of $50.1 billion, or $1.88 per share, for the June quarter. That's not only greater than the $48.4 billion in revenue Wall Street expects, but it's also a full $3 billion higher than Apple's own guidance.

As for the following September quarter, Arcuri even expects that iPhone sales will be sequentially flat, reaching between 49 million and 50 million for the three-month period. This performance would reflect tremendous continued demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus nearly a year after the hot selling handsets debuted.

And for revenue in September, Arcuri calls for growth of 5 percent to $53.7 billion, which is above Wall Street's expectation of $50.8 billion.

Arcuri said to investors that he believes Wall Street projections for the iPhone are "very conservative." Most investors seem to believe that global iPhone market share will continue to decline, but Arcuri said that's "highly unlikely" as the iPhone 6 series continues to gain share.

He also sees a number of catalysts on the horizon for Apple, led by the assumed launch of an "iPhone 6s" series in September. The anticipated debut of a 13-inch "iPad Pro," and the continued ramp-up for the Apple Watch were also cited as new growth opportunities for the company.

"The strength of the company's core mobile product offerings and iOS-based ecosystem will continue to expand addressable markets and capture incremental share from today's specialized and/or purpose-specific devices and ecosystems across all price tiers," Arcuri said.