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iPad Shortage Unlikely; Retina Display Supplies Strong: Jefferies

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(Reuters) - Supply concerns over Apple Inc's <AAPL.O> new iPad are "overblown", Jefferies said in a note, adding that the company is expected to produce 12-15 million tablets this quarter.

The third generation iPad sports a crisper display, dubbed the Retina Display, and some industry commentators and technology blogs have said the company could face a supply crunch for these displays in the near term.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, however, said industry concerns over the sharper screens used in the new iPad were unfounded, as Apple suppliers have ramped up production for the new display.

"Despite widespread concerns, we believe there will be enough screens for the new iPads," said Misek, who raised his price target on Apple stock to $699.

Apple shares were trading up $5 in premarket trading on Tuesday, after closing at a life high of $552 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

The stock's intrinsic value, according to StarMine, is $668.50. On its Intrinsic Valuation model, StarMine adjusts for the usually optimistic bias in analysts' EPS forecasts, and uses the resulting growth rate and dividends to determine the valuation.

The new iPad was unveiled on March 7, marked by the usual fanfare associated with Apple product launches. On Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Apple is likely to sell well over 1 million of the new iPads on the launch day itself with pre-orders completely booked.

Till date, Apple is estimated to have sold about 55 million of its tablets, with 15.43 million sold in the Oct-Dec 2011 period.

Jefferies' Misek, rated five stars by Thomson Reuters StarMine for the accuracy for his earnings estimates on Apple, also said the company would launch its widely speculated "iTV" television set later this year.

Misek said the company is expected to start full-scale production of the rumored "iTV" television by May or June for a fourth-quarter launch.

Apple currently sells the Apple TV -- a $99 device which connects to a TV set to stream shows and movies purchased on iTunes. In its March 7 event, Apple had also announced a revamped version of the Apple TV.

Misek also raised his estimates for 2012 iPhone sales to 155 million units.

(Reporting by Himank Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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