iPad Distribution Expands, Impact Small for Apple’s Stock

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has started to aggressively expand the iPad’s retail presence in time for the holiday season. The company has recently partnered with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Target (NYSE:TGT) to sell the iPad. Furthermore, the iPad is available through Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) online and will soon be available in Wal-Mart stores as well. The wider presence of the iPad during the upcoming holiday season can provide a boost to sales and a small upside to Apple’s stock.

Retail expansion an opportunity for Apple

Apple started selling the iPad in April of 2010 through its website and U.S.-based Apple stores. The company currently has a total of about 200 stores worldwide. Apple then expanded to selling through Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). More recently, the iPad has been made available through Amazon and Target (1,740 U.S. stores), and is expected to debut in some Wal-Mart stores this Friday. The WSJ recently reported that the iPad is expected to be available through more than 2,300 stores by mid-November.

Potential upside to Apple stock

iPad constitutes around 8% of the $361 Trefis price estimate for Apple’s stock. We forecast that Apple will sell around 10 million iPads in 2010, which may prove conservative given estimates that Apple is selling 1.2 million iPads per month. Apple sold about 3.3 million iPads during the April to June 2010 period.

The retail expansion in time for the upcoming holiday season could further boost iPad sales. There could be an upside of around 2% to Apple’s stock if the company were to sell 15 million iPads in 2010, instead of the 10 million that we currently forecast. You can modify our iPad sales forecast above to see how Apple’s stock would be impacted in different scenarios.

Disclosure: No positions