Even amid Apple’s record-breaking rally that’s sent shares up more than 82% this year and made it the first US-listed company with a $2 trillion market valuation, Wall Street analysts see upside for the stock.
A slew of analysts upgraded the technology company on Monday and Tuesday, raising price targets and ratings. Apple now has 27 “buy” ratings, 12 “hold” ratings, and five “sell” ratings, according to Bloomberg data. The average analyst price target is about $112.
The boosts come after Apple executed a 4-for-1 stock split that went into effect Monday, as analysts adjusted their previous targets to take into account the new stock price. Wall Street is bullish on the technology stock, which has outperformed the broader market this year even amid the coronavirus pandemic and recession.
Shares of Apple gained as much as 4% on Tuesday following the analyst notes. In addition, shares were lifted after Bloomberg reported that the company has asked suppliers to build at least 75 million 5G iPhones to launch later in the year along with other new products, showing that demand has remained strong even in an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop.
Here’s what four bullish Wall Street analysts said about Apple.
1. JPMorgan: “Difficult for investors to step away from the shares”
- Price target: $150 (from $115)
- Rating: Overweight
“That AAPL shares crossed [$2 trillion market cap] in a year with significant COVID-19 disruption testifies to the recurring nature of not only its Services, but also its Products, such that investors are now willing to pay a Services-like premium on the entire earnings stream and a modest premium on account of expectations for further revenue/earnings upside,” wrote Samik Chatterjee in a Tuesday note.
“While latest upward estimate revisions for the company have been driven by the rise in consensus iPhone volume expectations for 2021, we believe investors are still looking for further upside (estimated consensus of ~220 mn units) led by the optimistic feedback from the supply chain of much high build forecasts,” he said.
“Our expectations remain for a stronger volume cycle relative to current investor expectations led by a compelling pricing strategy, which comprises wider range of price points with the Phone launches later in the fall,” wrote Chatterjee.
“While we acknowledge that the valuation is no longer an easy entry point into the shares, at the same time, potential upside revenue/earnings drivers as well as upcoming catalysts will make it difficult for investors to step away from the shares.”
2. Bank of America: “AAPL stock continues on an unprecedented strong run of outperformance”
- Price target: $140 from ($117.50)
- Rating: Neutral
“AAPL stock continues on an unprecedented strong run of outperformance vs. the broader market,” wrote analyst Wamsi Mohan in a Tuesday note.
“Analyzing the past few weeks of trading data suggests a strong inflow from retail investors, suggesting MOMO (momentum) is the strongest attributable factor,” he wrote. “We believe that momentum can cut both ways especially given risk to Sep/Dec qtr estimates (particularly on high end iPhones) but also recognize that in the short term momentum can trump valuation.”
3. Canaccord Genuity: “Apple is outperforming its competitors across all hardware categories”
- Price target: Increased to $145
- Rating: Buy
“Despite challenging global economic conditions due to COVID-19, Apple is demonstrating the strength of its products and ecosystem,” wrote analyst T. Michael Walkley in a Monday note.
“We believe Apple will grow its market share leadership of premium-tier smartphones bolstered by a 5G upgrade cycle with potentially improved consumer demand long-term,” he said. “In fact, we estimate roughly 300M to 400M current iPhone users could upgrade to a new iPhone over the next two years, driving strong EPS growth.”
“Apple is outperforming its competitors across all hardware categories and the strong ecosystem is leading to a very loyal customer base buying more hardware products and using more services.”
4. Wedbush: “Cook & Co. in a major position of strength with clear tailwinds heading into its iPhone 12 supercycle”
- Price target: $150
- Rating: Buy
Wedbush kept its price target the same but issued a bullish note on the stock.
Apple’s recent stock split “speaks to Cook & Co. in a major position of strength with clear tailwinds heading into its iPhone 12 supercycle kicking off in early October,” wrote Daniel Ives in a Monday note.
“With 350 million of 950 million iPhones worldwide in a window of an upgrade opportunity based on our analysis, we view this as a ‘once in a decade’ golden opportunity for Cupertino looking ahead which speaks to the Street bullishness over the past few months.”
“A key part of the re-rating in the stock (despite the skeptics) remains the services business which we assign a valuation of between $900 billion to $950 billion and has been the Rock of Gibraltar for Apple during this stormy COVID backdrop. We maintain our OUTPERFORM rating with Apple being our favorite 5G play over the coming year.”