Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Erinn Murphy recently weighed in on tech giants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), respectively. Munster is bullish on Apple due to an anticipated positive reaction following upcoming earnings, while Murphy maintains optimism on Fitbit after testing the new Blaze watch.
Munster of Piper Jaffray weighed in on Apple after the Nikkei, Japan’s exchange, reported a cutback in production for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus for the March quarter. The analyst states that this report worries investors as they expect March iPhone units to dip as low as 50 million, compared to Street estimates of 58.5 million. However, the analyst is not concerned and states that production levels and actual units are not always correlated. He also trusts company guidance, which has been accurate for the past three years.
For the December quarter, Munster states that Apple CEO Tim Cook guided iPhone growth y/y. Munster notes that although this recent production report causes concern, he mentions that “comps get easier” for iPhones in June 2016, which results in positive sentiment regarding iPhone growth. Munster believes that the company’s upcoming earnings report represents a “buying window for AAPL shares ahead of the 2H16 growth improvements” for investors, and expects the stock to react positively after the release. He concludes, “We believe the hyper concern around the bigger picture that the iPhone franchise is healthy and will benefit over the next several years from the move to annual upgrade programs.” The analyst maintains his Overweight rating and $179 price target.
Analyst Gene Munster is ranked #6 out of 3,701 analysts on TipRanks. He has a 62% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 20.7% per recommendation.
Analyst Erinn Murphy of Piper Jaffray weighed in on Fitbit yesterday after the company revealed its Blaze watch at a press conference. The product is expected to launch in March and has a variety of new features compatible with many Android and iOs devices. Murphy states she is impressed by the product, as the company found a middle ground between “price point and functionality.”
The analyst acknowledges a negative trend in Fitbit’s stock and credits this to a few reasons: a lack of pre-announcement for Q4 trends; Blaze’s similarity to the Apple Watch and concerns over smartwatch market share; and Blaze’s price point relative to the $250 Surge, as the product stands at $199. However, the analyst states that “this sell-off appears overdone” given the Blaze’s “balance between battery life, the price point and strong global distribution.” As a result, she states, “we are buyers on the weakness” and predicts price point growth for FY15E. The analyst believes the Blaze will result in positive ASPs and has the potential to drive her estimates up going forward. The analyst is also bullish on the company due to its stellar holiday sales. Murphy reiterates her Overweight rating on Fitbit with a price target of $60.
According to TipRanks’ statistics, out of the 12 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 10 gave a Buy rating while 2 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $49.10, marking a 102% upside from where shares last closed.