With Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) set to deliver an earnings report this coming Tuesday, July 26, BMO Capital analyst Tim Long reiterates an Outperform rating, but cuts his price target from $118 down to $116.00.
Even with a bullish perspective, Long has reduced estimates for the September quarter to margins of 37.5% against the Street’s prediction for 38.3%. The analyst anticipates better earnings per share success in 2017 with predictions slightly higher than the Street forecasts. Long thinks this year will bring in $8.28 in EPS, whereas the Street hopes for a more modest $8.22. Both Long and street think 2017 will be an even more fruitful year for Apple, Long shooting for $9.13 in EPS and the Street with $8.85.
Greater hopes await the month of September, resting on the shoulder of the iPhone 7. Especially because iPhone SE dilution was strong in June, by September, the iPhone 7 has the capacity to truly drive up volume and profit margins. Long indicates, ” We believe management will give a broader guidance range of 37-38% for gross margin, which, though below consensus, is more expected by many investors.”
As usual, we find it important to provide a track record for an analyst when reporting on new notes to give key perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, Tim Long is ranked #720 out of 4,073 analysts, earning a success rate for his tips on stocks of 57% and averaging a return of 5.2% per recommendation.
TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Consider that out of 39 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 33 rate Apple a buy, with 5 maintaining a Hold, and only 1 issuing a Sell. The average 12-month price target is $123.76, marking a close to 24% upside from current levels.