/// Does Apple Really "Need" a New Breakthrough to Bolster Stock?
It may be a while before Apple’s shares return to the all-time high of $705 they hit last September, but they should hit $600 or so by year’s end. This according to Channing Smith, director of equity strategies at Capital Advisors, who predicts that Apple’s stock will rally in the second half of this year, following a potentially tough March quarter and June guidance that might leave a little bit to be desired. Like a number of other analysts, Smith says Apple is at risk of a near-term earnings miss. But he also says the company’s big picture remains rock solid. “What we think is going to happen is Apple gets a pass on this quarter and investors are going to start looking towards the summer and the fall, when you start to see new product announcements,” Smith told CNBC . “We’re going to see some excitement over what Apple is going to do something with its cash, that’s our expectation. … We think the focus really goes into the second half of the year, new product announcements, potential announcements with China Mobile and a lower priced iPhone.” So: Apple’s shares will recover — assuming the company delivers 1) a capital allocation plan that returns a bunch of cash to investors and 2) another hit product — preferably the next new, new thing.