Analysts expressed their opinions today on iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), following iPhone surveys and earnings results, respectively. The analysts reduced their price targets while explaining how these events and their resulting outcomes will drive each stock forward.
Canaccord analyst Michael Walkley reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Apple, while reducing the price target to $120 (from $130), as recent survey data continue to point to slowing iPhone sales.
Walkley wrote, “Based on our survey work, we believe consumers continue to delay purchases of new iPhones ahead of the iPhone 7 launch. However, our surveys indicated steady overall sales due to increased promotions and a stronger mix of the lower ASP iPhone SE. While we anticipate a lower replacement rate through September as consumers delay upgrading their iPhones ahead of the anticipated iPhone 7 launch, we do anticipate recovering sales with the iPhone 7 launch.”
“Longer term, we believe the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s products have enabled Apple to materially increase its share and installed base of the premium tier smartphone market. We believe these trends resulted in the iPhone installed base growing to over 500M exiting C2015 with overall connected Apple devices exceeding 1B users. This impressive installed base should drive strong future iPhone replacement sales and earnings, as well as cash flow generation to fund strong long-term capital returns programs of $250B through F2018,” the analyst continued.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Michael Walkley has a yearly average return of 13.9% and a 58% success rate. Walkley has a 21.8% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #27 out of 3980 analysts.Out of the 52 analysts polled by TipRanks, 39 rate Apple stock a Buy, 11 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend to Sell. With a return potential of 32%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $126.12.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc
J.P. Morgan analyst David Common downgraded shares of Valeant from Overweight to Neutral, while slashing the price target to $35 (from $50), following what he called “disappointing 1Q/16 results” and forward-looking commentary.
Common noted, “The Derm and (especially) the GI franchise are more challenged than we thought, and they may not show much progress in the June quarter […] In addition, we may have expected asset sale/debt reduction catalysts too soon. Investors would much prefer a reduction in debt as the company comps lower, we figure. But management suggests asset sales aren’t likely to close by the September or even perhaps the December balance sheet. When asset sales do occur, we figure they’ll yield $1-2bn, and delever VRX by 0.1-0.3x.”
The analyst continued, “We think investors, at least on the credit side, are appropriately focused on cash flows rather than non-GAAP earnings. Separately, we believe term loan covenants won’t be an important challenge because an amendment, if required, should be available if needed in the next six months or so …. But another issue seems to be getting too little attention: the degree to which earnings and margins benefit from a small number of products with 70-90% EBITDA margins. Competition for several of these products should be expected, which suggests Street expectations for 2017-2018 margin expansion may not be achievable.”