In a research report sent to investors today, Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner reiterated a Hold rating on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with a $102 price target, ahead of the company’s first fiscal quarter results, which will be reported on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.
Scribner wrote, “We expect strong F1Q-15 results from AAPL and we are raising our estimates driven by stronger iPhone sales. We now estimate 67M iPhones will ship in the Q (up from 65M), although we believe expectations are likely closer to 70M. With iPhone sales peaking in F1Q-15, and Apple Watch not expected to ship until the end of F2Q-15, we see limited catalysts and maintain our Hold rating.”
Furthermore, “We would become more positive if (1) Watch ramps more quickly than expected, (2) GMs improve substantially, or (3) iPad or iTunes/software growth improves. At current levels, we view valuation as fair given the lack of near-term catalysts and AAPL’s significant market cap (>3% of the S&P500).”
The analyst concluded, “We have raised our F1Q-15 sales and EPS estimates but trimmed later Qs on more muted Watch assumptions leaving FY-15 EPS unchanged. Apple has traded at an average forward P/E of 13x since 2010, and because of its large market cap, we believe shares will continue to trade at a modest discount to the market.”
Apple Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players worldwide.