Apple Inc. Stock Price Target Upped: iPhone 8 Has Lots To Prove

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Apple stock has been bouncing around over the last several trading days as investors start to consider whether the iPhone 8 will really be everything analysts have been repeatedly promising it will be. This week we heard yet another report of problems with rumored features that may end up being withheld from the final product. This time, it’s the fingerprint sensor that was rumored to be embedded right in the display of the iPhone 8.

Apple stock price target boosted for higher estimates

Nonetheless, analysts are trying to reassure investors that all is fine with Apple stock. Does the company really need anyone to do damage control where its stock is concerned when analysts are all too willing to do it themselves?

In a note on Monday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani bumped up his price target for Apple stock from $155 to $157 per share and reiterated his Outperform rating. He also boosted his iPhone unit estimate for the March quarter and for fiscal 2017. He predicts that the iPhone maker will report $53.5 billion in sales for the March quarter, which is at the high end of the company’s own guidance. Apple is scheduled to release the results from its second fiscal quarter on May 2 after closing bell.

According to Daryanani, the product mix for the iPhone is positive as consumers are supposedly showing a preference for the more expensive Plus-sized models, which of course means good things for average selling prices. This is the same analyst who turned heads last week by suggesting that Apple might purchase Walt Disney with the spare change it finds rolling around in its couch cushions, that is, international markets (assuming a tax holiday on repatriated cash).

Also this week, Mizuho Securities analysts reiterated their $150 price target and Buy rating on Apple stock. They predict that the iPhone maker’s earnings will be in line with consensus or perhaps slightly above. However, they also warned that its third quarter guidance might be “modestly below estimates” because consumers are probably delaying their iPhone purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 8.

Not all are banking on Apple stock

Every so often, someone publishes a bearish view of Apple stock, and this time it’s InvestorPlace writer James Brumley, although he’s not bearish as much as he is simply no longer view it as an idol worth of worship. He notes that the company’s products have sustained a fall from grace, of sorts, given that Laptop magazine has downgraded its position on the MacBook, and JD Power found that the iPad no longer tops its tablet owner satisfaction survey.

Clearly, the iPhone 8 has much more to prove than just that it’s worthy of its position as a tenth anniversary model.

Shares of Apple stock edged lower by as much as 0.35% to $141.35 during regular trading hours on Tuesday.

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