Wall Street analysts weigh in on tech giants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), offering compelling reasons for their ratings and summarizing expectations. While UBS analyst remains positive on Apple following mixed survey results for iPhone 7, Oppenheimer analyst remains confident on Fitbit despite expectations for seasonal weakness ahead of Q3 print. Let’s take a closer look:
The UBS Evidence Lab did a survey of nearly 6,500 smartphone users across the U.S., U.K., Germany, mainland China, and Japan to gauge interest in Apple’s iPhone 7. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich is out with a research note, presenting the results.
Milunovich noted, “Our March survey pointed to iPhone 7 interest between the 6 and 6s, which has been confirmed by surveys and search results since. This time we find higher overall smartphone purchase intentions the next six months with iPhone 7 interest especially strong in the US and rising demand for the Plus. However, China, is exhibiting signs of softness in F17, including lower interest in the 7 than the 6/6s. However, the Apple brand remains strong. We continue to model iPhone unit growth of 6% in F17 and 16% in F18.”
The following bullets contain some highlights from the report:
- Almost half of US respondents are very or somewhat likely to purchase an iPhone 7, above even the 6 cycle two years ago;
- The US shows a shift toward the Plus with a 9-point rise over the 6s;
- Apple rates high in product uniqueness, and its customers are more concerned with design and less focused on price;
- Global smartphone penetration of 60% and high aspiration in the US and China allow opportunity for new customers; and
- Although Samsung’s retention rate has improved, 30% of its customers were at least somewhat less likely to go Samsung.
Milunovich reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Apple, with a price target of $127, which represents a potential upside of 13.5% 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 Steven Milunovich has a yearly average return of 1.9% and a 53% success rate. Milunovich has a 4.5% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #972 out of 4178 analysts.
Out of the 46 analysts polled by TipRanks, 37 rate Apple stock a Buy, 6 rate the stock a Hold and 3 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 15%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $128.63.
From Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz‘s perspective, when glancing ahead to tomorrow’s third-quarter results for Fitbit, he is bracing himself for “business as usual” in terms of seasonal “weakness-” “not just for FIT but for the broader consumer electronics space.”
For this reason, on the heels of “back-to-school buys” and the holiday season in the front view mirror, the analyst maintains his projections and reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of FIT with a $25 price target, which represents just under an 88% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
Uerkwitz notes, “We admit December-quarter estimates are a leap of faith, but looking at past/recent trends gives us confidence. We are seeing a pickup in our tracker, in particular the Charge HR 2. Moreover, looking past the holidays, we believe the fuller-featured, higher-quality Charge HR 2 is a harbinger of things to come in 2017. We believe we’ll see a slew of new products and a bigger more-into-digital health and connected fitness.”
When assessing FIT’s place amongst its rivals and looking at the past consecutive five quarters, the analyst contends the fitness tracking giant is the sole competitor with indications of substantial year-over-year growth. As far as Uerkwitz studies the situation, he asserts confidence in FIT’s “compelling” product listings and long-term opportunities.
“If we take a moment to look past how well Fitbit devices will/won’t sell in Q4, we see a more compelling longer-term story. As digital health/ connected fitness play a larger role in consumers’ lives, activity data will become ever more important. FIT is best positioned to lead with its largest user base, robust data sets, and social app,” Uerkwitz concludes.
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Andrew Uerkwitz is ranked #345 out of 4,178 analysts. Uerkwitz has a 51% success rate and earns 7.1% in his annual returns. When recommending FIT, Uerkwitz faces a loss of 8.8% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit FIT as a Buy. Based on 16 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 11 rate a Buy on FIT, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issue a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $21.50, marking a nearly 63% upside from where the shares last closed.