Wall Street analysts weighted in on tech giants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in regards to innovation fears and a developer conference, respectively. Both are bullish on the two firms, with one highlighting Apple’s core strengths prior to the iPhone 7 launch while the other pointing to Alphabet’s value generating new products.
Analyst Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest weighed in on Apple regarding concerns of a lack of innovation for the iPhone 7, set to release in September. The analyst believes these concerns are unwarranted and that the market should instead focus on user base trends and potential upgrades. The analyst notes that according to his estimates, Apple’s iPhone base grew by around 70 million in the past 2 years. He states, “We believe concerns about a potential lack of innovation in the iPhone 7 underestimate the extraordinary growth in the user base over the past two years…” The analyst believes regardless of any hardware updates, this increased user base “should drive significant growth in upgrade volume and overall iPhone unit growth in F2017.”
Although the analyst acknowledges that increased holding periods reprints “a legitimate concern,” he believes potential upgrades from the newly increased user base will should offset any concerns and generate “substantial growth in replacement sales” despite holding period changes. If anything, the analyst claims that “software and expanding distribution are the primary drivers of new users to Apple’s platform.” The analyst believes these features should result in easier comps relative to the iPhone 7/6s compared to the iPhone 6s/6, noting a likely smaller decline in the number of absolute users. Ultimately, the analyst believes Apple’s strong user base should keep the company afloat. He states, “We believe Apple’s strong hold on its user base will support sustained pricing power, which should help drive stable gross margins and strong cash flow.”
The analyst reiterates an Overweight ration the company with a $123 price target.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Andy Hargreaves has a yearly average return of 21% and a 46% success rate. Hargreaves has a 15% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #124 out of 3929 analysts.
Analyst Stephen Ju of Credit Suisse weighed in on Alphabet after attending the Google I/O developer conference. The analyst “came away incrementally more positive on the company’s strategic positioning” and cited several takeaways from the conference the he feels represent catalysts for the stock. The analyst cites the “growing ubiquity” as well as AI in all of the company’s products and apps. He also believes the company came a long way this year, as 2016 represents “increasing integration” and more user friendly UI. The analyst is particularly impressed with recent product launches such as Google Home, Assistant, Allo, and Duo.
According to Ju, products such as Rich Cards, Accelerated Mobile Pages, Instant Apps, the Credentials Management API and the Web Payments API are the most influential for the company from a “more mid-to-longer term monetization perspective.” He believes these products enhance the overall user experience and represent a “win-win move” for the company and publishers. Specifically, he mentions that Instant Apps offering businesses an easier way to engage with users, and that the Credentials management API and Web Payments API “should raise mobile conversion rates.” Ultimately, the analyst claims that “these actors should positively impact mobile search pricing.”
The analyst reiterates an outperform rating on the company with a $920 price target.
Stephen Ju is ranked #59 out of 3,929 analysts on TipRanks. He has a 67% success rate recommending stocks with a 13.7% average return per recommendation.
According to TipRanks, out of all the analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 97% gave a Buy rating while 3% remain neutral. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $914.91, marking a 25% upside from where shares last closed.