Equity Analysts Initiate New Ratings and Price Targets: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)

Wall Street analysts came out today with new ratings and price targets on stock giants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). While one analyst is quite bullish on Apple’s stock, the other prefers to sit on the sidelines with regards to shares of Gilead Sciences.

Apple Inc.

Needham analyst Laura Martin initiated coverage on shares of Apple with a Strong Buy rating and price target of $150, which represents a potential upside of 37% from where the stock is currently trading.

Martin sounds optimistic about Apple’s long-term potential, stating, “Consumers are creating a new global distribution network over connected mobile devices, primarily smartphones. We recommend investors have exposure to this massive trend. AAPL is an arms dealer that dominates the wealthiest segment of this rapidly growing consumer market. Our survey research concludes that iOS platform churn is only about 12% annually, suggesting fewer competitive pressures, higher pricing power, more predictable revenue streams, and a halo effect that drives sister-device sales and higher ancillary revenue than AAPL’s current share price implies. We calculate AAPL’s value based on four differentiated methodologies and conclude that AAPL’s long-term value is $180/share, 62% above current levels.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Laura Martin has a total average return of 19% and a 65% success rate. Martin is ranked #31 out of 3762 analysts.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

BMO analyst Ian Somaiya was out pounding the table on Gilead Sciences Wednesday, initiating a Market Perform rating, with a price target of $102, which represents a potential upside of 7% from where the stock is currently trading.

Somaiya wrote, “We believe HCV revenues have peaked. Management has guided to HCV treatment rates stabilizing in 2H15 in the U.S. , and we model ex-U.S. peaking in 2016. Although we expect sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (PDUFA June 28, 2016) and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/GS9857 (launch 2017) to help Gilead maintain its dominant position in HCV, volume-discounts to improve payor access and price erosion as new competitors enter the market may lead to HCV franchise sales declining in the future.”

Furthermore, “We believe Gilead’s mid-stage portfolio is key to driving long-term growth. Data from a Phase II trial of simtuzumab in patients with advanced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is expected in 4Q16 and could allow Gilead to secure regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe in late 2017/early 2018. Uptake in F3/F4 NASH patients would support peak sales of $12bn and allow the company to grow total revenues despite declining HCV franchise sales.”

According to TipRanks.com, analyst Ian Somaiya has a yearly average return of 17% and a 55% success rate. Somaiya has a 13% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #152 out of 3762 analysts.

Out of the 19 analysts polled by TipRanks, 14 rate Gilead stock a Buy, while 5 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of nearly 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $113.67.


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