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iPad rumors point to big year for Apple

iPad rumors and a possible dividend have investment analysts excited. But should the vague iPad rumors get consumers excited, too?

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iPad rumors and a possible dividend have investment analysts excited.

Newscom

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Strong Apple products in the pipeline — and a possible dividend — led one “Fast Money” analyst to predict the company had a lot more upside in 2012.

 “I definitely think a dividend is going to happen in calendar ’12,” ISI analyst Brian Marshall said Tuesday, adding that most investors don’t expect one.

 Apple last paid a cash dividend on its common stock in December 1995.

“They could do a dividend of, say, 250 basis point-yield and only pay out 20, 25 percent of their free cash flow,” he said. “They’ve got tremendous flexibility here, obviously, and we think that would drive an incremental $4 billion of buying power to the stock, which is essentially the equivalent of a Top 10 holder. We think a dividend would be a material catalyst for the stock.”

Shares of Apple traded upward of $409 midday, up more than 1 percent.

“They still have tremendous opportunity to grow,” he said.

Marshall, who had a $500 price target on the stock, said he expected launch of the iPad 3 in March and Apple TV in 2013, based on a three-year product cycle.

Marshall said the Apple TV will likely be a standalone flatscreen television set with an Apple interface, or “the first product to seamlessly integrate the home office and the living room.”

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