Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are expected to drive a monster-sized upgrade cycle that’s worthy of their bigger size, according to analysts from multiple firms. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White and others have been saying this for some time, and now Evercore analysts are joining the party.
Apple price target to $125
Evercore analyst Rob Cihra maintained his Overweight rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock but increased his price target to $125 per share. Along with the price target increase, he bumped up his iPhone volume estimates to 39 million units. That assumes a 15% increase year over year. In the December quarter, the analyst expects that Apple will sell an incredible 65 million iPhones, which is a 27% increase year over year and would be a new high for Apple.
For Apple’s next earnings report, which is expected to be released on Oct. 20, Cihra is projecting $40.1 billion in revenue, a 7% increase year over year. He’s expecting earnings to rise 11% to $1.31 per share.
Cihra said what would be even better for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is if it can maintain or possibly even increase the average selling price for its iPhone. Most analysts expect the average selling price to increase because of the iPhone 6 Plus, which begins at $100 more than its smaller brother, the iPhone 6.
Analysts at Stifel are among those projecting an increase in iPhone average selling price. They increased their estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter (September quarter) from $560 to $575. For the December quarter, they bumped up their average selling price from $630 to $680.
Apple releases China availability for the iPhone 6
Stifel analysts also commented on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s announcement regarding the release dates for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China. The company will start taking preorders there on Oct. 10. Customers will be able to reserve the new phones for in-store pickup starting on Oct. 14, and then the phones will be available for pickup in stores on Oct. 17.
In their report dated Sept. 30, 2014, Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers and his team said they think investors will keep focusing on the combined iPhone estimates for the September and December quarters compared to one year ago. They remind investors that China was included in the initial launch last year, however, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is getting a later start there this year because of a regulatory holdup.
The Stifel team also bumped up their iPhone shipment estimates from 37.8 million to 39.6 million for the September quarter and from 58.6 million to 65.3 million for the December quarter. This implies a combined total of 104.9 million units, compared to their previous estimate of 96.3 million units for both quarters.
The Stifel team has a Buy rating and $110 per share price target on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock.