So, Apple (AAPL) is having a bad year, you say? Not long ago, the talk on Wall Street was all about the tech giant’s uncharacteristically underperforming stock, especially when compared to some of the other mega-caps’ displays in 2021.

With shares hitting an all-time high this week and the gap in performance narrowing over the past month, that conversation can now be put to rest.

The uptick has coincided with reports Apple has boosted the production rate of its iPhones, instructing manufacturers to build 90 million iPhones this year, a 20% increase on the 75 million units it produced last year.

The renewed optimism in all things Apple is not surprising to J.P. Morgan’s Samik Chatterjee. The analyst recently told investors Apple is well set up to outperform in 2H21. In fact, the growing confidence means Chatterjee has added Apple to the firm’s Analyst Focus List as “a Growth idea.”

“The recent momentum led by better market share, drives us to also estimate higher sustainable volumes in future quarters, leading us to see a path to Apple outperforming investor expectations over a longer time horizon rather than just the upcoming earnings print,” the 5-star analyst said, confirming Apple is also a Top Pick.

To reflect the increase in build rates, Chatterjee has “modestly” increased iPhone volume expectations, but of more importance to the analyst is the “path to upside” for the shares in the medium-term.

This is because of the potential for better iPhone 12 sales but also due to what Chatterjee considers are low expectations from the iPhone 13’s fall launch, which could create “another leg to the upside opportunity.”

It’s a potent mix which is given additional allure with the launch of the iPhone SE3 next year and means Apple can “not only pleasantly surprise with a more robust iPhone 13 cycle, but also has the opportunity to drive material upside to consensus expectations for FY22.”

To this end, Chatterjee rates Apple shares an Overweight (i.e. Buy), while slightly lifting the price target from $170 to $175. The revised figure implying shares will add 19.5% from current levels. (To watch Chatterjee’s track record, click here)

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So, that’s J.P. Morgan’s view, what does the rest of the Street have in mind for Apple? Based on 20 Buys, 5 Holds and 2 Sells, the stock currently has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The forecast is for shares to appreciate by 8% over the coming months, given the average price target clocks in at $158.62. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.