PT hikes, upgrade follow Apple's FQ2 beat; is Dow inclusion next?

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Apple (AAPL +8%) has received 5 PT hikes to go with one upgrade (from CLSA) following its iPhone-driven FQ2 beat, dividend/buyback increases, and split announcement.

Jefferies (Buy) isn't crazy about FQ3 guidance (it thinks FQ2 demand pull-in is a factor), but is pleased with the pickup in iPhone sales growth and recommends buying shares "ahead of what we believe will be a successful iPhone 6 launch."

Canaccord (Buy): "While our survey work indicates iPhone will likely lose share over the next several months to refreshed Android products, we believe Apple will win back meaningful high-end market share during [2H14]."

Nomura (Neutral) is more cautious, noting growth was just 0.4% Y/Y outside of China and Japan. But it also sees "little risk of a material negative disappointment in the coming months."

Also: 1) Ahead of Angela Ahrendts' arrival next week, Tim Cook suggests Apple plans to triple its Chinese store count over the next two years. 2) Many observers have pointed out Apple's split could lead it to join the Dow (DIA), given the index is price-weighted rather than valuation-weighted.

More on Apple's FQ2. CC transcript.

This was corrected on 04/24/2014 at 11:31 AM. The post (citing a MarketWatch article to the effect) previously stated Apple plans to triple its retail store count over the next two years. However, a review of Apple's CC transcript suggests the company was talking specifically about its Chinese store count.