Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Now Daniel Niles’ “Favorite” Play

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has failed to impress the high-profile tech investor Daniel Niles since early 2015, but things have changed drastically now. On Thursday, Niles, a founding partner of AlphaOne Capital Partners, told CNBC’s Closing Bell that now Apple Inc. (AAPL) is his “favorite play.”

“That’s the one that will help really drive the market and if you look at it, the stock is down 15 percent from its level really back in that early 2015 time period,” Niles said.

The tech investor added that Apple Inc. (AAPL) is the most valuable company in the market at present, and he believes that its stock is driven by three factors.

First, Apple Inc. (AAPL) should be able to achieve its revenue guidance for September easily. Niles said that ignoring the fact that the company “burns 3.6 billion” in channel inventory, it only really needs to grow revenues about 1% sequentially.

“Over the last four years, it’s been 6 to 7 percent that they’ve averaged in September,” he said.

Second, carriers are again subsidizing iPhones, and this, Niles believes, would make many customers upgrade. Lastly, the valuation is great.

“Apple gets a nice combination of defense with a nice, big yield.”

In other Apple Inc. (AAPL) news, the rivalry between Apple and Samsung is set to intensify further as the U.S. firm is planning to open a new Apple Store very close to Samsung’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea, according to a WSJ report. This indeed is really close, and according to people familiar with the matter, this move can prove very beneficial to the iPhone maker. There is a lot of untapped potential for the iPhone in South Korea because it is a large market, and Apple Inc. (AAPL) has made limited headway in the country so far.

South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy and has been a tough market for Apple. Hometown favorites Samsung and LG dominate smartphone sales there, and together, they account for about 80% of the smartphone market in the country, notes the WSJ.  At present, Apple Inc. (AAPL) relies on third-party retailers, and therefore, having a store will likely have a significant impact.

According to the WSJ, the iPhone maker is looking for a location in the up-market Gangnam area, which houses most of the busiest subway stations and Samsung’s headquarters. Samsung will definitely be unhappy to hear this as it is already going through the trouble of recalling the Galaxy Note 7 handsets that are exploding while charging.

As of now, there have been no comments from the U.S. firm on the WSJ report.

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