Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu this morning raised his price target on Apple (AAPL) shares to $620 from $550, after raising his estimates for the company in anticipation of what he expects will be the unveiling of a new iPad on March 7th.
Apple sent ou t a notice to press yesterday about a “special event” on March 7th, which is widely believed to be the iPad 3 debut.
Wu thinks the new model will be a “significant” change from the current one, writing, “our supply chain checks indicate that this iPad refresh will likely be a significant one with beefed up specs including a higher resolution screen, much faster processor, Siri software, and 4G LTE wireless.”
Wu thinks the feature set will further differentiate the iPad from Amazon.com’s (AMZN) “Kindle Fire” tablet computer.
The inclusion of 4G gives the tablet “speeds approaching that of a quality personal computer experience,” he writes. Wu’s “checks” suggest the next iPhone model, which he expects this fall, will also have a 4G connection.
Wu notes Apple’s battery technology work:
Our industry checks indicate AAPL has made notable progress in improving battery life that has plagued competitors. This is due to AAPL’s ownership of core intellectual property including systems design, semiconductors, battery chemistry, and software.
Wu raised his estimate for this calendar year to 55 million iPad units shipped from a prior estimate for 51 million.
For fiscal 2012, he models $158 billion in revenue, up from $156.4 billion, and $43.30 in EPS, up from $43.
Apple shares this morning are up $4.88, or almost 1%, at $540.26 in early trading.
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