In a research report released Thursday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with a price target of $172, as he doesn’t feel that shares of AAPL reflect the significance the the faster iPhone upgrade theme, which is driven by the launch of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.
Munster wrote, “We believe there is upside to shares of AAPL based on the tailwind from Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, in addition to the US, and soon international carriers standardizing on installment programs with annual iPhone upgrades. We believe this trend should add between 5-7% to Street iPhone units in each of the next 4 + years (4-6% to overall revenue). In the US, the installment/ annual upgrades will likely push the US upgrade cycle to an average of 15 months from the current ~22 months by CY18. Investors should get a better understanding of this tailwind following Apple’s Sep-15 results. Long term, building an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) could be the next step, but likely a long way off.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gene Munster has a total average return of 21.5% and a 63.4% success rate. Munster has a 25.6% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #2 out of 3772 analysts.
Out of the 50 analysts polled by TipRanks, 34 rate Apple stock a Buy, 14 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend Sell. With a return potential of 35.2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $147.52.