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Apple’s ‘Tremendous Job’ Lifts Stock-Price Bar: Chart of the Day

Apple Inc.’s record earnings and sales last quarter touched off the biggest one-day increase in share-price estimates for the maker of iPhones and iPad tablets in more than two years.

Analysts raised their projections yesterday by an average of 8.5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That figure exceeded Apple’s 6.2 percent advance after the company, based in Cupertino, California, said profit more than doubled and revenue jumped 73 percent in the fiscal first quarter.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how the estimated price, based primarily on analysts’ outlook for the next 12 months, compares with the stock’s market price. Yesterday’s average of $569.19 was 27 percent higher than the close. Since 2007, the gap has averaged 26 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yesterday’s biggest increase came from Tavis McCourt, an analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co. in Nashville, Tennessee, based on Bloomberg’s data. McCourt lifted his estimate for Apple’s price by 27 percent to $650 a share.

“They’re doing a tremendous job, obviously,” McCourt said yesterday in a telephone interview. The higher projection is 15 times his fiscal-year profit estimate of $43.31 a share, which he raised from $34.20.

Apple earned $13.87 a share in the first quarter on sales of $46.3 billion. The increase in estimates after those results was the biggest since Oct. 20, 2009, when analysts raised their projections by 9.2 percent in the aftermath of a fourth-quarter earnings report.

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