Analysts Weigh In on Two Stock Giants: Apple Inc (AAPL), Shake Shack Inc (SHAK)

Analysts weighed in on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and fast casual dining chain Shake Shack Inc (NYSE:SHAK). While one analyst anticipates Apple to release new products, the other awaits the results from Shake Shack’s expansion into four new locations in 2016.

Apple Inc.

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brain White maintained a Buy rating on Apple with a price target of $200 despite preliminary February Apple Monitor sales drop on Chinese new year.

According to White, the sales and performance of most the companies in Drexel Hamilton’s Apple Monitor (basket of Apple suppliers in Taiwan) was “weaker” than the eleven-year average but “inline the decline over the past three years.” White believes there is “much to look forward to from Apple in 2016” including a new iPhone cycle with the iPhone 7, an improved apple watch, potential for an increased cash pay out to shareholders, and opportunities in a new geographic location (India).

February sales for the Apple monitor were down 35% MoM and weaker than the average decline of 17% over the past eleven years but inline with the 35% decline over the past three years. Performance in February, according to White, reflected the seasonal Chinese New Year. Further, reports are calling for a special Apple event for the week of March 21 with rumors of a new 4-inch iPhone, a 9.7 inch iPad Pro, and a potential Apple Watch update.

White believes Apple’s work on a lower priced 4-inch iPhone can “better cater to consumers that prefer a smaller form factor screen with updated features but a lower price point relative to the iPhone 6s/6s plus.” He also believes that a lower iPhone can “help Apple’s push into India” and expects to hear more over the next 12-18 months. During the Mobile World Congress, White saw little in the smartphone world that gave him “concern” as it relates to iPhone competition in 2016.

According to TipRanks which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Brian White has a yearly average return of 7.5% and a 51% success rate. White is ranked #189 out of 3765 analysts.

Shake Shack Inc

Despite a strong 4Q earnings report and a year of “upside surprises rarely seen in the restaurant category,” Jefferies analyst Andy Barish reiterated a Hold rating on shares of Shake Shack with a price target of $40.

According to Barish, the strong upside was driven by SSS (same “Shack” sales), margins and new unit productivity, however the first two of which are expected to “lessen in terms of upside drivers for ’16 although new unit pipeline looks strong and guided as such.” Barish raised his 16/17 EBITDA to $36.6 mm/$49.4 mm from his original estimate of $33/46 mm.

Shake Shack reported +11% SSS comprised of +6.2% traffic, +3% price and +1.8% mix, which according to Barish continued to be driven by premium burger LTOs and ice cream. In addition to the products previously mentioned, Shake Shack recently rolled out its new chicken Shack sandwich system wide at a $6.29 price point and has tested well in Brooklyn locations last year. The sandwich however has not “baked in significant incremental contribution in its +2.5-3% SSS guide for 16.’” Barish continues by highlighting new unit productivity as strong and mentioning 4 new markets opening in ’16 with many “flagship” locations (LA, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Dallas) expected to generate “at least” 3.3 mm vs long term estimates of $2.8-3.2mm.

Shake Shack displayed a large margin beat of 500bps in 4Q driven by leverage on all line items from strong sales and down commodities (beef) with +3% price. Barish concludes that a “flattish commodity basket, and labor deleverage of 100-150bps will make It more difficult to drive margins.” He therefore has modeled lower margins y-o-y partly due to “inefficiencies of opening in 4 new markets in ’16 vs. 2 in ’15.”

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Andy Barish has a yearly average return of 9.0% and a 58% success rate. Barish is ranked #363 out of 3765 analysts.


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