Here we go again. Wall Street analysts have been busy over the past several months ratcheting up opinions on Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) , which played no small part in the record quarter that the tech sector just put up.
It may seem like forever ago that Apple shares traded in the ballpark of $400, but it was actually just three short months ago. Shares closed out last year at $405 and have promptly risen 48% over the past quarter, largely driven by the monster quarter that Cupertino reported in January.
How high can shares go? Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty has a bull case price target of $960. Ironfire Capital's Eric Jackson says $1,650 by 2015 is a distinct possibility. We can now add another lofty price target to our list.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who has been covering Apple since his days at Ticonderoga Securities before the company ceased operations in January, has picked up coverage on the Mac maker at his new employer. White is starting shares with a Buy rating and a $1,001 price target (not $1,000 or $1,002, mind you), which would yield a market cap of about $930 billion.
That target is a healthy head above the $666 price target he had assigned to Apple while at Ticonderoga. White notes that Apple is gaining momentum "like a wildfire around the world" and sees "no end in sight to this trend."
Just like Huberty, White believes that Apple will move the iPhone to 4G LTE connectivity this year following in the new iPad's footsteps, which should lead to healthy upgrade activity. He's also banking on China to be a major growth catalyst, as Apple just recently added China Telecom to its stable alongside China Unicom.
China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) is still the largest carrier, and White thinks it will join the iPhone party within the next year. The carrier boasts a 66% market share, making it incredibly important to Apple's China growth story.
White is also in the camp that expects a full-sized Apple TV set in the pipeline as well. He's modeling for more than $160 billion revenue and almost $45 in earnings per share for this fiscal year.
This really isn't anything we haven't already heard. While these growth catalysts aren't exactly new notions, they signify that analysts' bullishness is intensifying.
While a cheery consensus can sometimes be frightening, Apple's future still looks awfully bright.