Apple's profits to be highest ever for public company, analyst says

James Martin/CNET
James Martin/CNET

(CNET) Analyst Brian White remains ever bullish on Apple.

White is the Topeka Capital Markets analyst who in April boldly declared that Apple's stock would eventually be worth $1,001 a share. A few weeks later, he pushed that up to the singular price target of $1,111 "over the next year." That would amount to Apple's stock roughly doubling in value.

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Monday morning, the supremely optimistic Mr. White has focused in on Apple's profits, in a tabulation relayed by Boy Genius Report. In a note to clients, White writes that, as he reckons it, Apple is on pace in calendar 2012 "to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever." Ever!

Last month, Apple turned up in third place on Fortune's list of most profitable companies, just behind Chevron and several lengths in back of Exxon Mobile.

Barron's draws out another dramatic declamation from White: "Investors," he said, "should think of Apple's market cap potential in terms of trillions, not billions."

What's driving the current round of enthusiasm? White - like many observers - is fired up about the possibility of Apple unleashing the long-awaited iPhone 5 and a hotly anticipated iPad Mini. The Topeka Capital Markets analyst is apparently basing his gung-ho go-to-market expectations for an "exciting September" for Apple on discussions he's had with "local contacts" in Apple's supply chain in Taipei.

Apple is also coming off a heck of a week in which it played emcee to a bevy of product announcements at its Worldwide Developers Conference, most notably iOS 6, a MacBook Pro with Retina display, and an upgraded Siri.

Shares in the maker of Macs, iPads, and iPhones have traded as high as $644 apiece in recent months. This morning, they're up slightly to just over $581 a share.

We've reached out to Apple for comment on White's predictions and will update this story when we hear back.

This article first appeared at CNET.

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    Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better. E-mail Jon.