Investment firm BMO raises Apple target to $135

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By Larry Banks

BMO Capital Markets was just one of the latest investment companies to increase its Apple price target this week as the stock makes huge gains, which are in fact forecast to continue into 2015 thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone 6 and the forthcomingApple Watch.

Apple stock target raised to $135

Analyst Keith Bachman has raised his target for Apple by $5 to $135, stating higher confidence that existing iPhone users will upgrade to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. He also believes that a large number of iPhone owners will purchase the Apple Watch when it’s released in April.

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Bachman’s estimates that Apple will manage to sell 19 million Apple Watch units in 2015, and that most of those sales (10 million) will take place in the final quarter of the year as people buy the new device for the holiday season.

BMO - Apple Watch Sales

Those numbers are impressive – that means that the Apple Watch will be on around 4% of the 420 million+ iPhone users, but he says that sales will of course be high to so-called early adopters, who already own the latest iPhone, with around 9% of those people buying the Apple Watch in the same time frame.

Next year, Bachman states that the Apple Watch could go on to reach as high as 17% of the iPhone 6 user base, by the end of the financial year. And as far as the iPhone is concerned, he predicts full year 2015 sales of 207 million units, a number that he admits himself is “perhaps conservative”.

BMO - iPhone Sales

As of December 2012, he estimates that the iPhone installed user base was already at 200 million users, and many of those iPhone owners are soon eligible for an upgrade, so if 94% of them but a new iPhone it would make his 207 million unit forecast accurate.

“Apple’s current iPhone offering, pending the Watch launch and the strength of Apple’s family of products, combined with Apple’s large and loyal installed base, gives us confidence in our iPhone forecast”, he said.

BMO has a bullish outlook for Apple, which has led the firm to maintain its “outperform” rating on the company stock.

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