Apple could soon turn out to be the first $1 trillion company, according to the analyst firm FBR & Co. While talking on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” FBR analysts claimed that the iPhone company’s stock will outperform the market and have given it a price target of $185, the highest among Wall Street analysts.
Software a “crown jewel” for Apple
Dan Ives and James Moore of FBR cited various reasons for their strong bullish opinion of Apple. One of them is Apple’s software, dubbed the “crown jewel,” which is expected to be instrumental in driving the iPhone maker’s market cap to $1 trillion. Moreover, as mobile phone hardware becomes more widely available, the software business will majorly contribute to Apple’s revenues, stated the analysts.
Also the analysts claimed the iPhone company will look to exploit the high profit margin of more than 90% presented by its service business. In the event of a high growth opportunity, the service division could make 32% of the company’s total gross profit in 2017 in contrast with the expected 12% for the current financial year.
Analysts believe Apple’s services (such as apps, Apple Pay, streaming TV services, etc.) are in the initial stages and that the full potential will surely be realized in the future. Further, BYOD (Bring your own device) for enterprise holds great potential to maximize profits in the future.
Analysts viewed wearables as another potential segment, as they believe them to be a $20 billion opportunity for Apple. However, they emphasized that the company’s software and the various services it offers will be the principle growth driver for Apple.
Apple may not hit $180 anytime soon
Tim Seymour, an analyst with Triogem Asset Management, disagreed with the estimated price target of $185 for Apple and opined that though the company’s prospects are promising, the growth drivers mentioned by FBR might not push Apple’s shares beyond $180.
“I do believe these are things that they are transitioning into, and they provide a buffer for the stock, they help sentiment. I just don’t think that gets you to $180—and I love Apple,” said Seymour.
On Thursday, Apple’s share closed at $126.17, amounting to a market cap of $737.85 billion.