Apple Upgraded on China Unicom Deal

Includes: AAPL, CHU
by: Eric Savitz

Standard & Poor’s analyst Clyde Montevirgen Friday raised his target price on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to $200 from $175, while lifting his EPS estimate for the September 2010 fiscal year to $6.78, from $6.65. The moves were triggered by today’s news that the company has cut a deal to distribute the phone in China with China Unicom (NYSE:CHU).

Montevirgen thinks the company can sell more than 4 million iPhones in China in calendar 2010.

He maintains a Buy rating on the stocks.

Meanwhile, Susquehana Financial analyst Jeffrey Fidicaro Friday morning asserts that the deal is a “substantial positive” for Apple, opening up the huge China market. He notes that China’s mobile subscriber base is 687 million - that’s more than twice the entire population of the United States. Unicom has 141 million subs, about half of those post-paid. Fidicaro says that for every 1 million extra phones sold, non-GAAP profits improve 18-20 cents a share. If the company can take 3% of the Unicom post-paid population, they would sell 2 million phones, he notes; at 8%, they would sell 5 million phones.

AAPL closed up 60 cents, at $170.05.

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