Apple Inc. Investors Should Focus On Its Loyal Customer Base: Munster

Munster said the long-term value of the platform of AAPL is real

Gene Munster, an analyst Piper Jaffray commented that Apple investors should focus their attention on its loyal customer base and the strength of the tech giant’s platform and reduce their worry about its product cycles.

Munster maintained his Overweight rating with a $135 price target for the shares of Apple. The stock is trading around $113.59 per share, up by nearly 1% at the time of this writing around 2:38 in the afternoon in New York.

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In new note to investors, Munster observed that many are closely watching the annual product cycles and growth of Apple. He also noticed a new group, who are paying more attention to the tech giant’s loyal customer base and the power of its platform.

Munster also believed that many investors are focused on the earnings guidance that will be issued by Apple in its December 2014 financial report. The company is scheduled to release its financial results on January 27.

Munster said a single-digit growth for Apple is reasonable

Munster said, “Our opinion is that companies that build annuity businesses that sell more products to customers over time should perform well over the long-term. “While the stock [referring to AAPL] may have different phases in performance quarter to quarter and year to year, we believe the concept of the long-term value in the platform is real.”

According to Munster, Product cycle investors are probably concern about the tough comparisons during the latter part of 2015 and early 2016. Given the huge expectations regarding that launching of the iPhone 6, the analysts stated that some investors are likely worried about the iPhone’s ability to grow next year.

Munster said, “We feel that single digit growth is reasonable, but that level of deceleration will not be comforting to product cycle investors.”

Apple iPhone sales expectation

Munster estimated that Apple sold 65 million iPhones during the December quarter. His expectation is at the low end of the Wall Street estimates in the range of 65 million to 69 million.

For the March quarter, Wall Street analysts estimated that Apple will be able to sell approximately 51 million iPhones.

Separately, ValueWalk reported that Apple succeeded in achieving its goal to dominate the Chinese market in 2014. The tech giant currently holds 18.1% of the smartphone market in China. Data showed that 63% of its iPhone sales in the country came from China Mobile.