Just hours away from Apple's latest earnings report, analysts, investors, and market watchers are on edge awaiting performance results for Apple's most recent fiscal quarter.

Clearly, however, optimism is riding high. In addition to shares of AAPL trading well above $130 on Monday, one analyst report is reminding us that AAPL still has enormous upside potential, especially if the latest projection put forward actually manifests.

As SmarterAnalyst reports, Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah has initiated coverage on Apple. And, you guessed it, that coverage comes with a Buy rating. And the price target, you ask? $160 -- a significantly higher price point than today's familiar levels.

“Fundamentally speaking, we believe AAPL stands to deliver material EPS upside from 1) iPhone ships through ’17, 2) favorable GM from both iPhones and iPhone mix (more 6 Plus’ than realized), and 3) materially more Opex $ leverage through at least ’16 as AAPL realizes the benefits from the recent iPhone 6 and iWatch investment cycles," Baruah writes. "Additionally, we believe AAPL will continue to use capital return materially the next few years and that this can both catalyze and provide a floor under the stock. Our $160 TP is 14x our ’17 EPS estimate of $11.84.”

Apple will report earnings today for its second fiscal quarter after the close of trading on Wall Street. MMi will provide full coverage so please check back later this afternoon.

Source: SmarterAnalyst