Question: Will Apple TV and the iPad Mini propel AAPL to $1,000 per share?
If there's one company that can sum up what growth investing is all about it has to be Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL). The company's growth prospects (along with its share price) continue to surge, as the firm keeps on creating all those gadgets "we never knew we needed, but can't live without." Hits like the iPod, iPhone and iPad have propelled the Cupertino, Californian corporation to new heights. Apple recently became the most valuable company in U.S. history.
The company's market capitalization surpassed the previous record of about $619 billion achieved by Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) in December 1999. The question now on everyone's mind is whether Apple can keep the torrid growth it's seen over the last few years. While some analysts doubt the company's long-term prospects, Apple still has plenty of growth catalysts that could propel the firm. It is expected to become the most valuable company of all time, as its market cap sails to $1 trillion mark (and beyond).
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Still Plenty of Fuel Left
Looking at Apple's share price of $600 plus, it's easy to think that investors may have gotten ahead of themselves. With memories of the tech crash and firms like JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JDSU) trading in excess of $900 a share, it's easy to see why. However, the truth is that Apple is in a league of its own. First, the tech company's latest round of product launches promises to be a big one. While subject to media and blogger speculation about product development, one thing is for certain - the iPhone 5 is coming soon.
Analysts expected the top-selling smartphone to launch around mid-September and be just as big as its predecessors. The device is Apple's most profitable product line and contributes to just over than half of the company's profits. When the iPhone 4s were introduced last year, Apple had a hugely successful quarter. And more of the same is expected with the iPhone 5's launch.
SEE: 6 Must-Have Features For The iPhone 5
However, it's not just the expected that will help contribute to Apple's continued growth and success. According to analysts at Pacific Crest, recent supply-chain intel has shown that Apple is beginning to provide order indications for a smaller iPad. That device would likely launch in October or November - just before the holiday season. While the iPad "mini" has been the talk of speculation for some time, this is the first indication that Apple will go ahead with the device.
While it may take away some market share from its larger twin, the smaller tablet will see a brisk market of its own. Overall, the lower price point should expand Apple's addressable market and allow more consumers to access Apple's web of movies, MP3s and other applications. The iPad "mini" will now be more of direct competitor with Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's (NYSE:BKS) Nook. Pacific Crest estimates that this smaller version of the iPad could add $1 per share in profit to fiscal 2013's results.
Then there is the subject of Apple's potential television endeavors. While a full-fledged television set may not be in the cards, it seems that Apple is very much interested in making its Apple TV business more than just a hobby. So far, sales of its set-top box have hit the 4 million-unit mark. That's already double 2011's numbers. More importantly, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has been pitching the device to major cable operators such as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC). The device would feature full on-demand capabilities and could drive substantial profitability if it helped Apple capture service provider profits.
SEE: Top 5 ways To Legally Cut Out Cable
Adding these huge product launches to Apple's pending distribution deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) and its recent landmark patent lawsuit win versus Samsung, and you have a recipe for long-term outperformance and wealth creation. Overall, Apple is on path to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever. Today, Apple shares can be had for a dirt-cheap forward P/E of just below 13. Which is an amazingly good deal considering the firm's $28 billion in cash and zero debt. Likewise, the company's current cash flow remains brisk and Apple's newly instituted dividend policy will drive a different kind of investor into its shares income seekers. Overall, these factors plus the new highly anticipated product launches make a very compelling case for Apple to hit a $1 trillion market cap and push shares above the $1,000 mark.
SEE: New iPad Hints at Apple's Future
The Bottom Line
For investors, Apple's current mix of attractive fundamentals and near-term product launches makes it a great long-term buy. Shares of the tech superstar should continue their climb towards the pivotal $1,000 mark as profits from these new devices and deals take hold.
At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.
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