Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has done it again, with all of the companies in Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White‘s Apple Monitor index, which tracks sales of nine ‘important’ publicly-traded Apple suppliers based in Taiwan, showcasing seasonal standout September sales for a “record” rock star third quarter.
In reaction, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AAPL stock with a price target of $208, which represents a 33% increase from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch White’s track record, click here)
What of the negative naysayers on the Street who are cautious on how strong Apple’s upgrade cycle will be? These apprehensions are “misplaced,” argues White, who notes that “given the unconventional, staggered launch with the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X, which we believe is confusing industry observers. We continue to believe Apple’s stock will not only benefit from this iPhone cycle but also the company’s capital distribution initiative, attractive valuation and potential new innovations.”
Consider that final September sales in the analyst’s Apple Monitor experienced a 17% monthly climb, a marked improvement from the average rise of 13% throughout the last 12 years. Also worthy of note is that this performance outclasses the 12% monthly hike back in August three years prior “when the iPhone 6 Plus experienced significant yield issues and the 5% uptick in September 2016 with the iPhone 7/7 Plus,” writes White.
Ultimately, White finds it importance to give credit where credit is due for the strong empire behind a legendary brand, concluding: “[…] we believe it is important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees during this iPhone cycle. Apple took the iPhone franchise to a whole new level with the iPhone X, pushing the company deep into the ultraluxury smartphone market with the highest priced iPhone in the company’s history. At a starting price of $999 for the 64GB version (vs. $699 for iPhone 8, $799 for iPhone 8 Plus), we expect this will drive a healthy uptick in iPhone ASPs and have a favorable impact on margins.”
Most out on Wall Street are clamoring to invest in this tech titan, as TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Buy. Out of 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 23 are bullish on Apple stock while 8 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 12%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $174.21.