Apple stock has been on a tremendous tear recently, although shares dipped today after analysts at Societe Generale downgraded them from Buy to Hold. In spite of that downgrade, the firm maintained its $130 per share price target, indicating that the recent tear is clearly impacting the downgrade.
Two other reasons Societe Generale gave for the downgrade are currency exchange issues related to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and difficult comparisons with last year.
Focusing on the Apple Watch too much?
One of the reasons Apple stock has been doing so well is anticipation surrounding the release of the Apple Watch, the smartwatch becomes available for preorder in just two days and stars shipping later this month. Estimates on how many units Apple will sell vary widely, and Wall Street has been focusing heavily on those estimates.
According to The Street, Societe Generale analysts think investors should actually be focusing on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, however, because the Apple Watch is unlikely to move the needle in terms of overall revenue at Apple.
How many Apple Watches?
The firm expects Apple to sell 8 million smartwatches at an average selling price of $500. That would result in about $4 billion in revenue from the Apple Watch for all of 2015, which is less than 2% of Societe Generale’s projection for the company’s total revenue.
The analysts note that iPhone sales are much more important than the Apple Watch because they believe the iPhone will make up 63% of Apple’s total revenue for this year. That would be a $46 billion year over year increase compared to last year.
Others agree about the Apple Watch
In a post on Real Money, Brian Sozzi also highlighted the media frenzy surrounding the Apple Watch. If the launch follows the same string of events as other Apple product launches, it’s pretty easy to predict what’s going to happen over the next week or so.
The Apple Watch becomes available for preorder on Friday, and investors will be anxiously watching to see whether they should stay long on Apple based on sales of the smartwatch, which by the way is just a companion device to the iPhone rather than a device that could be argued to be essential. In addition to being able to preorder the Apple Watch on Friday, consumers will also be able to try it out at Apple stores.
Then on Monday, CEO Tim Cook will probably release a statement suggesting that interest was very strong and maybe even giving a hint at how many Apple Watches were preordered over the weekend.
No lines yet?
Indeed, it’s somewhat surprising that we’re not already hearing about lines forming at the Apple stores. Even just one or two people waiting in line would probably draw some headlines, but Apple is pushing interested buyers to preorder their watches online rather than going to the Apple store.
So does the lack of the line indicate a lack of interest in the watch at all? It certainly suggests that consumers aren’t dying to be the first one to try out the watch at the store.
As of this writing, shares of Apple were down 0.08% to $125.91 per share.