Apple’s earnings report has triggered a whole host of price target increases from analysts. There were a slew of them on Tuesday, and the onslaught continues today. We can now add analysts at Hilliard Lyons, Societe Generale, FBN Securities and BTIG to the growing pile.
BGC also released a report on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) but remains ultra-bearish on the company even after Monday’s earnings report.
Hilliard Lyons’ price target to $150
Analyst Stephen Turner with Hilliard Lyons maintained his Long Term Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) but upped his price target to $150 per share. The iPhone maker beat the consensus estimate on revenue, coming in at $58 billion, and earnings per share, posting $2.33.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also set a new record for second quarter iPhone sales at 61.2 million units, smashing Turner’s estimate of 52.5 million. Additionally, the company’s guidance for the third fiscal quarter was significantly higher than his estimate. Management expects revenue of between $46 billion and $48 billion, compared to his estimate of $$45.8 billion.
The analyst continues to expectApple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to set new records for cash flows, gain share in the smartphone market this year and see strong growth in China.
FBN price target for Apple (AAPL) to $160
FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi reiterated his Outperform rating and increased his price target from $140 to $160 per share. He called Apple’s iPhone and China sales “impressive.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported that iPhone sales in China alone increased by more than 70% year over year in the first quarter. Management further said that uptake of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is strong at about 20%. They also said they had noted “noticeable increase” in smartphone users who were switching from Android to an iPhone with the current upgrade cycle. Apple also reported an increase in average selling price for the iPhone, which increased 8% compared to last year to $659.
He noted also though that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) management said on the earnings call that the Apple Watch will likely have lower gross margins than the company’s average, which was 40.8% in the March quarter. This is one disappointment in the company’s earnings report because many analysts had though that the gross margin on the smartwatch would be closer to that of the iPhone.
BTIG price target to $160
BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk also increased his price target for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), bumping it up from $150 to $160 per share. He said he raised his 2016 fiscal year earnings per share estimate by 60 cents to $10 per share. He also raised his iPhone unit estimate for that year by 28 million to 246 million units.
The analyst also pointed out that in addition to the strong earnings results and the solid guidance, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also has a significant opportunity to upgrade about 400 million active users of older iPhone models to the newer iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus. He believes this opportunity should be enough to keep investors from worrying about the December quarter’s difficult comparable numbers.
Additionally, he pointed to “commentary around the living room,” which he called “repetitive” but added that “it feels like we’re getting a lot closer. Piecyk said bigger operators are starting to launch over-the-top video services and the industry in general is shifting toward Apple.
He noted that many of the comments about Apple releasing a TV service focus on the need to make it less expensive but said that logic “proved faulty” when talking about the iPhone. He sees a big opportunity for Apple in the TV space. On the topic of the rumored TV service, he wrote, “The key question is whether Apple’s new TV service will be purposefully impaired by programmers to force advertising consumption,” as his colleague Rich Greenfield wrote recently.
Taking the bearish view of Apple (AAPL)
Naturally there will always be some naysayers on every public company, and in this case, it’s Societe General and BGC. Both firms have Hold ratings on Apple, with the former having a price target of $140 per share (up from $130) and the latter having an ultra-bearish target of $115 per share.
Too much iPhone, China, too little iPad, U.S.
BGC analyst Colin Gillis thinks the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cycle might have hit the top with the larger screen. He said again that he thinks Apple is too reliant on iPhone sales, as the company missed consensus estimates for iPad and Mac sales. iPhone revenue made up 69% of Apple’s total sales. Further, he thinks the upgrade cycle for the iPhone might lengthen if the features on future models are “les compelling.”
He called iPad sales alarmingly weak and said he will continue watching the trajectory of the tablet, as revenue from it fell 29% year over year and was only 9% of total revenue. Unlike other analysts who are bullish on Apple’s opportunity in China and the 70% increase in iPhone sales there, Gillis warned that Apple may be becoming too dependent on China. He noted that domestic competition and problems with interference from the government could cause problems. In the U.S., growth was only 19%, while in Europe, growth was 12%.
Concerns about Apple in Europe
Societe Generale analysts Andy Perkins and Peter Knox raised concerns that were similar to those of Gillis, although they pointed to Europe as a concern for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) because of the nearly 20% depreciation in the euro since the iPhone was released. The company did raise prices in countries where the currency weakness was similar, and they note that any increase in price will likely affect demand negatively.
Further, they pointed out that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) management reported some cannibalization from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on the iPad They’re concerned about the next iPhone, which is expected in September, because the comparable numbers are “extremely high.” However, they point out that demand could remain high because only 20% of the iPhone installed base has upgraded to one of the current models.
As of this writing, shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) were down 1.43% to $128.76.