For some strange reason, Wall Street usually responds to Apple's positive results by selling shares, resulting in a drop in share price after earnings calls. Yesterday was somewhat different, as Apple's guidance for the next quarter was somewhat cautious based on foreign exchange rate pressure. Apparently many Wall Street analysts were in agreement, because AAPL has been performing well today, hitting as high as $118 per share, up almost 3%.
A lot of the upbeat outlook seems to be because of Apple's performance in the all-important Chinese market, where iPhones are selling like the proverbial hotcakes despite a recent devaluation of the yuan currency. Growth in China appears to be continuing unabated, and analysts were happy with that news.
Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster thought that Apple's guidance for the current quarter was a "relief", as many analysts expected Apple to forecast dismal iPhone sales for the important holiday quarter. Piper Jaffray raised its price target on AAPL to $179 per share as a result.
Wells Fargo and Cowen were somewhat more cautious in their forecasts. While still advising investors to get into AAPL, their share price targets are in the $125 to $150 range. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich was cheered by the news that more Android smartphone users are switching to iPhone, as well as the fact that thanks to Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, the company expects iPhone upgrade cycles to compress to a shorter time period. UBS gives AAPL a "buy" rating with a share price target of $150.
Finally, FBR & Co. analyst Daniel Ives said that the September quarter earnings news was "a major step in turning the positive tide around the Apple Story." The fact that Apple is still expecting year-over-year growth for the holiday quarter impressed Ives, who thinks that there's room for continued growth in iPhone sales. FBR maintained an "outperform" rating with a $175 share price target.