Britain shocked the markets by voting for Brexit, and now scores of major U.S. equities, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, Facebook stock and others, have fallen into a nosedive. Analysts and economists alike are advising investors that the Brexit result is creating buying opportunities in large numbers of popular U.S. stocks. On the flip side, many U.K. stocks are plunging, with one notable exception being British chip maker ARM.
Apple stock plunges, thanks to Brexit
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock tumbled by 3% to as low as $93.21 today. Major U.S. stock indices are tumbling as well, with Apple stock’s decline weighing heavily on the S&P 500’s 3.4% descent The Nasdaq Composite was down too, plunging by more than 4% during regular trading on Friday.
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The iPhone maker’s multinational status means it is extremely exposed to major currency movements, such as those triggered by the Brexit vote today. MarketWatch reports that while only 2.3% of Apple’s sales over the last 12 months were in the U.K., its European exposure is 15.4%, and Britain’s exit from the European Union is expected to throw much of Europe into disarray.
Options for AAPL stock
InvestorPlace contributor Nicolas Chahine described the plunge in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s share price as a “tasty discount” on Apple stock. However, he still advises playing the iPhone maker’s stock via the options market, such as through the Jan $80 put, which he said gains him $2.62 per contract in a bullish scenario. He estimates his chance of turning a profit off this put at 80%, noting that the risk is having to own Apple stock “at a 15% discount from current levels.”
For a more conservative view, he suggests a credit put spread to put a limit on risk by selling the Jan $80/ $75 credit put spread, which he said would earn him $1 per contract with a potential yield of 25%. Again he sees an 80% chance of success and adds that the maximum loss in this case is the “difference between the width of the spread and the premium collected,” which in this case is $4 per contract.
He adds that those who want to reduce their risk can reduce the width of the spread, perhaps by cutting it to $2.50 with the Jan $82.50/ $80 credit put spread. Of course a smaller maximum loss means a smaller maximum profit as well, in the event of this being a good bet.
Apple supplier benefits from Brexit via plunging pound
Interestingly, shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier ARM, which is based in the U.K., soared on Friday even as the London Stock Exchange plunged by more than 200 points and the FTSE 100 slumped by 150 points. Brexit has already greatly weakened the British pound, sending it to record lows today, and this is very good for ARM, reports MarketWatch.
A weaker pound means better profitability for ARM because most of its sales are done in U.S. dollars, although half of its production is paid in pounds and its earnings are reported in pounds. Jefferies analyst Robert Lamb estimates that every 10% decline in the pound against the dollar means a 15% boost in earnings per share for ARM.
In addition to Apple, other major customers of ARM are Intel, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.
Other winners in Brexit
FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi is eying the equities markets today for buying opportunities in light of the turmoil we’re seeing due to the Brexit vote. Of course Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is on his list, as are other big tech names. Facebook, which is his top pick amid the Brexit chaos, Salesforce, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco Systems, and Fitbit are on his list. Based on early trading prices of all the stocks on his list, Seyrafi said Salesforce appeared to be the “most mispriced based on the Brexit vote.”
He sees Amazon and Google parent Alphabet as being risks because of their higher levels of exposure to Europe, although he still likes both companies.