On the face of things, 2013 hasn't been a great year for Apple. Despite posting healthy Q1 earnings and promising to pay back $100 billion to stockholders from its huge cash pile, shares continued to decline, slipping back to under $400 just last month.
According to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, however, the company has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to deliver several new, game-changing products this year. Reitzes also praises the company's decision to announce a larger-than-expected buyback, suggesting that the move may have sown the seeds of prosperity for the coming year:
We believe Apple is about to change the narrative and get investors, analysts, customers and the media finally talking about new product again -- starting with a software/services/Mac even on June 10 and a likely iPhone/iPad event in September. Third, upon further reflection -- we didn't fully appreciate at first how much of a relief it was for Apple to unveil a bigger buyback. As a result, the buyback's size may help multiple a little more than we even thought a few weeks ago.
Reitzes has also said in recent months that Apple must "do something" to release itself from the "frozen state" that the company has got itself into. He's also upped his 12-month performance target for Apple from $465 to $525, the first of which he set just three weeks ago before Apple's March quarterly earnings call. Analysts' performance targets denote the share price they believe will be mostly likely at the end of a given period. However, given how often these performance targets are altered, they should always be taken with a pinch of salt.