Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on the heels of its newest iPhone roll-out, and yet, the media is underscoring a different aspect of the story: the lines of people waiting to seize the iPhone 7 amid the launch is shorter than this time last year.
However, Drexel Hamilton top analyst Brian White believes “this is a paper tiger,” and therefore reiterates a Buy rating on shares of AAPL with a $185 price target, which represents just under a 61% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
White asserts, “Given the substantial shift to online purchasing, we believe the art of counting the number of people waiting in line for the latest iPhone is a research methodology that has become obsolete and thus no longer useful.”
As far as White is concerned, this has been “an excellent week” for the tech giant, as four leading U.S. carriers have been singing the praises of AAPL coupled with an official recall of the ultimate AAPL arch-rival: the Samsung Note 7. Especially considering “stock outs of the iPhone Plus (and also Jet Black colors),” the analyst believes consumers are playing it smart in waiting for the dual-camera-boasting iPhone 7 Plus and are opting to buy these online, simply avoiding the wait.
“In the year 2016 with the advancements in online ordering, we are surprised by the credence still placed on counting the number of people waiting in line for an iPhone on opening day. […] we believe waiting inline for a new iPhone has gone the way of listening to music on a CD; it just doesn’t make sense any more,” White concludes.
As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Brian White has achieved a high ranking of #113 out of 4,163 analysts. White upholds a 58% success rate and yields 8.7% in his annual returns. When recommending AAPL, White earns 20.5% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 36 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 31 rate a Buy on AAPL, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $127.48, marking a nearly 11% upside from where the shares last closed.