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Apple: shares rise after KeyBanc upgrade.

(CercleFinance.com) - Apple shares are currently up 1.
5% after analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets raised their rating on the stock from "sector weight" to "overweight," with a new target price of 187 dollars.

While the broker says it remains "somewhat pessimistic" around iPhone unit growth, KeyBanc thinks Apple is in the early stages of a more aggressive market segmentation strategy that could increase gross profit per user and drive margins.

"The potential for Apple to exercise greater pricing power, along with further App Store growth, supports the view of the company as a franchise with subscription-like qualities rather than a regular hardware business," analyst Andy Hargreaves wrote in the report.

"This should help sustain trading multiples above recent historical averages," he added.

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