Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty is advising investors that now is the time to buy AAPL shares – and not just because the iPhone 6 is on the way.

Huberty gives eight reasons (via BusinessInsider) for believing that the price of AAPL stock is likely to increase. None of them are new, but the combined effect is persuasive, she argues … 

1: Institutional investors are likely to increase their holdings

Huberty points out that institutional investment is currently sitting at 2009 levels, and is well below the company’s S&P weighting of 3.4 percent.

2. Apple’s stock buyback program will boost the share price

Apple’s aggressive stock buyback program has lowered its share count by 9 percent, and dramatically increased its yield. The combined effect should see the share price climbing.

3. The iWatch

Analysts are already increasing their target prices for AAPL, but Huberty thinks they have not yet factored in the iWatch. Once this launches, analysts are likely to further increase their targets, encouraging investment.

4. Fresh blood reinvigorating the company

Recent senior hires bring fresh blood to the company and improve its skillset. Angela AhrendtsPaul Deneve, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are among those Huberty singles out.

5. Rapidly-increasing R&D spending

This has historically been a very good indicator of future revenue.

6. Acquisitions

Analysts focused on Beats (and weren’t necessarily impressed), but Apple has made 29 other acquisitions since the launch of the iPhone 5, suggesting both new talent and new products.

7. Gross margin is stable

Apple’s gross margin went into sharp decline for a time, but the higher-than-expected price of the iPhone 5c and launch of the iPad mini with Retina display have helped margins climb again, and now seem stable. The iWatch too is likely to carry a high margin.

8. Apps business is booming, and streaming music will fix declining music sales

There has been concern that Apple’s iTunes music sales business is in decline, but growing app sales and the Beats acquisition to help Apple compete in the music streaming business will see steep increases in average revenue per user.

The full piece over on Business Insider is worth a read.

Of course, markets are driven by sentiment at least as much as by logic, so there’s no guarantee that any of this good news will impact the share price, but there’s no denying the strength of the argument.

Image credit: Render by Martin Hajek

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