Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Can Apple Shares Keep Defying Gravity?

menzel

Since the beginning of the year, Apple shares have more than doubled from $90.75 on Jan. 2 to almost $186 today.

Google (GOOG) has done about half that performance, while Microsoft (MSFT) has done one-third. (See the chart below; click on it to make it larger.)

applestock

But that’s apparently not enough, according to Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid, who has raised his price target on Apple (AAPL) stock to $210 from $180 a share.

Citing higher sales and profit estimates, healthy demand and the iPhone headed to China–and the launch of a cheaper $800 MacBook soon–Reid wrote, “We believe there is a high likelihood Apple will fortify its entry into the holiday season and that such a move will be a positive for AAPL shares.”

While this all makes sense, one wonders if the froth can reach that level.

In any case, perhaps what is more interesting is the $166.4 billion market cap for Apple, which is well below Microsoft at $232 billion.

But it is well above Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) at $113.4 billion, Google at $158 billion, Dell (DELL) at $30.6 billion and Palm (PALM) at a paltry $2.4 billion.

With that kind of massive valuation and a pile of it in cash, perhaps the better question is what Apple will do with its soaring stock.

Oddly enough, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth singing the big number, “Defying Gravity,” in the musical, “Wicked,” sound a lot like they are channeling Apple’s corporate mantra these days.

Witness: