Piper Jaffray Top Analyst Weighs In On Two Stock Giants: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster rates stocks in the technology sector and is one of the top 10 analysts rated on TipRanks. Today, Munster reiterated Overweight ratings on online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and technology giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Let’s take a closer look.

Amazon.com, Inc.

Munster commented today on Trump’s new allegations that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was using Washington Post as a puppet to sway public/political opinion on the nature of corporate tax policy and, separately, to defend what Trump calls a “Monopoly” in retail.

Taking a defensive approach, Munster noted, “We do not believe Presidential hopeful Donald Trump poses any threat to Amazon based on anti-trust and corporate/sales tax issues – rather, we believe that Trump’s comments are a positioning strategy as the Bezos-owned Washington Post dedicates 20 journalists for its study on Trump’s life and, separately, as a olive branch towards liberals on the subject of corporate regulation. If Trump becomes President we do not believe presidential authority or influence would over-ride the reality that Amazon’s market share does not trigger anti-trust thresholds and that the company employs a legal tax structure domestically and internationally. We believe it is very unlikely that Trump could have an impact on Amazon or that his comments will incite regulatory changes in any way.”

Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on Amazon shares with a price target of $800, which represents a potential upside of 13% from where the stock is currently trading.

Out of the 30 analysts polled by TipRanks in the past 3 months, 27 rate Amazon stock a Buy, while 3 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 13.5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $805.86.

Apple Inc.

Munster maintained an Overweight rating on shares of Apple, with a price target of $153, after the company confirmed a $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-sharing company and Uber China competitor Didi Chuxing.

The analyst wrote, “The investment in Didi Chuxing brings up the obvious question of how it could relate to Apple’s reported efforts in the car market. We continue to believe that the car represents a large opportunity for Apple (>$135 billion in revenue if they reach BMW unit volumes as previously written); however, as we move toward an autonomous vehicle future with autonomous taxi services potentially replacing car ownership, we believe the value of a car brand diminishes.”

Bottom line, “We view the move from Apple as surprising given that they have no real history in venture style investments, but believe that given their cash position and intentions in China, the investment makes long-term sense. Further, we believe the investment could help Apple guide its car efforts, Project Titan, as they better understand the future of transportation.”

Out of the 34 analysts polled by TipRanks, 29 are bullish on Apple stock, 4 remain sidelined, and 2 are bearish. With a return potential of 40%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $126.82.


  • Peter Cinelli

    I understand that Munster and his firm do investment banking with Amazon so his recommendation is a bit biased.
    Munster fails to realize the significance of Amazons liabilities. They have $61 billion of debt liabilities and no debt free cash to satisfy that debt. What about the sales tax liabilities they owe in many states and worldwide. Italy is litigating against them for tax evasion as are other countries.
    Like the banks, lawmakers could require Amazon to set aside funds in a legal escrow account. If Amazon did lose any of these legal battles, would they have the cash to satisfy?

    Amazon faces lots of competition as Walmart, eBay and hundreds of other internet vendors offer better pricing as well as free no fee shipping. Perhaps customers will not pay for prime when others offer free shipping without a fee.

    Amazon is already trading at 300x earnings and at these levels any negativity and the shares are vulnerable. I don’t think Munster accounts for the severity in his model.