Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster Comments on Apple Inc. (AAPL) In Light of iPhone Ruling In Beijing

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Beijing’s intellectual property regulator has barred Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the city, ruling that the design is too similar to another smartphone sold within China (Shenzhen Baili’s 100c device), leading to the possibility that Apple may have to cease sales of its handset in Beijing completely. However, Apple issued a statement that all models of the iPhone remain for sale today in China and that they have appealed the ruling.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster commented, “We note that the ruling appears to be only for the Beijing region and not all of China. The bottom line is that the ruling is unlikely to have any impact on numbers because the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus model will be discontinued in September with the launch of the iPhone 7, and we expect the appeal to last through that period. Even if the device were banned through all of China for the Sep-16 quarter, it would likely be no more than a 2-3% iPhone unit headwind, or a 1-2% revenue headwind, just for the September quarter.”

The analyst rates Apple an Overweight with a price target of $153, which represents a potential upside of 60% from where the stock is currently trading.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gene Munster has a yearly average return of 16.8% and a 61% success rate. Munster has a 16.2% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #6 out of 3976 analysts.

Out of the 52 analysts polled by TipRanks, 40 rate Apple stock a Buy, 10 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend Sell. With a return potential of 33.0%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $127.12.

  • Robert J Miskines

    Another worrisome development for Apple in China. Apple should diversify manufacturing operations and its supply chain globally to reduce its exposure to Chinese government interventions. Imagine if there is a South China Sea conflagration; how would that effect Apple’s operations?

  • Robert J Miskines

    Another thought, Apple could automate assembly operations in the U.S.A. They now have a robot to take apart old iPhones. I hope they are investigating fully automated assembly lines and bringing manufacturing operations to a country such as the U.S.A with stable governance and regulations.