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Apple’s Multiple Contracts Despite Product Expansion

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Apple shares have been battered and bruised since the second half of July as investors worry about far-reaching problems like China and also the company’s ability to continue its growth trend. However, analysts from most firms tend to agree that the worries about Apple are overblown.

Correction an attractive entry point

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, formerly of Cantor Fitzgerald, has initiated coverage of Apple at his new firm with a Buy rating and $200 per share price target. He said the recent correction in Apple shares offers a chance for investors to get in on the stock because he thinks this is just a temporary thing.

In addition to concerns about China and whether consumers there will keep shelling out high premiums for Apple products, Wall Street is also worrying about whether the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be able to stand up to last year’s iPhone 6 line amid difficult year over year comparisons. White sees the China worries as overblown, the iPhone concerns as short-sighted, and investor appreciation for what he says is a “transformational super cycle” for Apple “surprisingly muted.”

He notes that Apple is trading at a multiple of 8.2 times his 2016 calendar year earnings per share estimate. That’s significantly lower than the S&P 500’s multiple of 14.7 times. As a result, he sees Apple as being one of the world’s most “undervalued technology stocks.”

Apple becomes China’s bestselling smartphone brand

The analyst noted that even though China is facing economic problems, Apple still managed to climb to the top of the smartphone market, becoming the bestselling smartphone maker there for the first time during the first quarter. He expects Apple to keep gaining share in the global market as well throughout the rest of the calendar year.

He said on his recent trip to China, he found evidence that “Apple fever is alive and well there.” He also thinks the company is planning to push even further into Tier three through five cities, which represent 80% to 90% of total households in China, over the next 12 to 24 months. Further, he notes that the country’s 4G market remains only 12% penetrating, leaving plenty of room for further growth.

White thinks Apple’s next big iPhone market will be India, and he believes the country is in about the same stage China was in for Apple five years ago. Further, he noted that India’s population of 1.25 billion people is not far off from China’s population of 1.36 billion and had 980.8 million mobile subscribers as of the end of June.

Apple gets into new product categories

The analyst remains just as bullish as ever on Apple, emphasizing the company’s foray into the wearables market with the Apple Watch. He expects the device to be a hot item this upcoming holiday season. He even goes so far as to say that Apple is “innovating like never before” with the Apple Watch and new services like Apple Pay. He also likes the refresh for the Apple TV set-top box and the possibility of a car from the company.

No worries about iPhone 6S cycle

Speaking to the concerns that the iPhone 6S cycle won’t be as strong as the iPhone 6 cycle was last year, he said he thinks the recent correction in Apple stock is already pricing this in. He notes that the iPhone made up 63% of Apple’s sales during the third fiscal quarter, but he’s not worried that Apple is depending too much on the iPhone, as some are.

As of this writing, shares of Apple are down 0.5% at $109.04 per share.

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