Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has Overweight rating from most of the analysts, but the stock has declined about 25 percent year-to-date. In the same period, the S&P 500 Index has risen 8.3 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) said in its latest research report that the stock is deteriorating due to investors fear about revenue deceleration, gross margin decline and increasing competition. Most importantly, with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) there has always been a “What’s next?”, and investors are worried because they don’t see an immediate “What’s next?”
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) analyst Mark Moskowitz believes that the stock is still attractive for an incremental buyer. Mark still maintains his Overweight rating on the stock with a $725 price target. JPMorgan thinks that, in general, the valuation of tech stocks have risen more than their fundamentals, which indicates a possible correction later this summer.
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Mark Moskowitz said that most of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) product releases are scheduled for December quarter, which has temporarily pulled the “What’s next?” away from the investors’ eyes. The company started this year with comparatively lower sales growth, revenues were affected due to supply constraints, and the gross margin was negatively affected by low manufacturing yields. Additionally, the iPhone maker’s decision to release so many products in the last few months of the year left nothing to look forward to in the first half of this year. In simple language, the company didn’t go for a steady 1-2 product a quarter release to keep investors interested.
JPMorgan’s research indicates that the launch of an upgraded iPhone 5S, a low-price iPhone and a revamped iPad would restore investors’ interest in the latter half of this year.
Most importantly, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) says in the research report that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be planning to raise debts for a bigger stock buyback and dividend payout program. The iPhone maker is sitting on a record cash pile, and borrowing rates are at historically low levels. The company can raise $15-$25 billion in unsecured loans in the short to mid-term. The company has strong cash flow metrics and operating profits, so its borrowing rates shouldn’t be higher than 2.5-3 percent. Borrowing at that rate is much better for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) than repatriating the cash and paying 25-30 percent in taxes. About 69 percent of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s cash is held overseas. If the company issues $15 billion in debts, that would push the dividend yield to 4 percent from 2.6 percent.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down 2.72 percent to $391.79 at the time of writing.