Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pretty much always the talk of Wall Street, but the attention has been intensified in the wake of the company’s stock split. Analysts at most firms remain positive on iPhone demand and are increasing their split-adjusted price target.
Apple estimates raised due to iPhone demand
In a report dated June 10, 2014, Deutsche Bank analysts Sherri Scribner and Joakim Mahlberg said they have increased their estimates for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) due to better-than-expected iPhone sales. After adjusting their $650 per share price target for Apple for the seven to one stock split, they then increased it to $105 per share. They think Apple stock will keep trading higher heading into the second half of this year because they expect new product launches to drive upside to their expectations. They remain Buy-rated on Apple.
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Increasing iPhone shipment estimates
The Deutsche Bank team remains positive on iPhone unit sales in the current quarter because of strength in emerging markets and continuing momentum from the addition of new carriers like China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:941). Their new iPhone shipment estimate is 35.85 million for the current quarter. That is an 18% sequential decline because they expect the typical pause that usually occurs in the quarter right before the next iPhone launches.
They say that on average, iPhone units decline 14% in the quarter before a new product launches. However, the last three launches have had bigger declines. In addition to increasing their quarterly iPhone estimates, they also raised their full year estimate, although they are still estimating only 13% unit growth for the fiscal year, which they think could end up being conservative. They note that IDC projects the entire smartphone market to increase 23% this year.
Hilliard Lyons also raises estimates
In a report dated June 11, 2014, Hilliard Lyons analyst Stephen Turner also adjusted his model for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the wake of the stock split. He has a Long-term Buy rating and has increased his split-adjusted target price from $90 to $124 per share. He cited “improving fundamentals, successful use of cash” and a “higher level of confidence in management’s ability to execute.”
Turner is projecting third quarter earnings per share of $1.20 (split-adjusted) on $37.87 million in revenue. That’s compared to his previous estimate of $1.19 per share on revenue of $37.5 billion in revenue. For the full year, his revised earnings per share estimate is now $6.27, compared to $6.26 previously. For the 2015 fiscal year, the analyst’s estimate increases from $6.78 to $6.83 per share.
WWDC suggests strong upcoming hardware
Turner also weighed in on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s recent unveilings at the annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). The company showed off its new Mac OS X Yosemite, which features a new user interface, changes to iCloud drive, mail drop, and more continuity features with iOS. In addition, Apple showed off iOS 8, HealthKit, HomeKit, and updates to iMessages and Siri. Also Apple opened up use of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the keyboard to developers.
The analyst noted that developers received a lot of attention this year, particularly due to the launch of the new Swift programming language as well as thousands of new APIs. Turner believes that the unveilings at this year’s WWDC set Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) up to have a “strong hardware release cycle” this year. He expects all of these new features to grow the company’s ecosystem and spur even more third party development.
Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) edged upward by nearly 2% in afternoon trading today.