Analysts Chime In on Two Stock Giants: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc (FB)

Apple Inc.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in today on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) after the tech giant sent an invite to reporters on for an event at its Cupertino, California headquarters on March 21, one day before it squares off with federal prosecutors over the government’s demand for help unlocking an encrypted iPhone.

Munster wrote, “While we still view the timing as slightly strange given the iPhone 7 launch in September, the headline release of the March event is likely to be a smaller version of the iPhone to replace the iPhone 5S. We expect the device to have a design similar to the 6/6S with updated components more similar to the 6S and Apple Pay. We do not expect it will have 3D Touch. Most importantly, we expect the price to start at $450, the current price for the iPhone 5S.”

The analyst continued, “We previously expected an “S” version of the Watch that would have a similar design, but upgraded components including processor battery; however, we now believe the core Watch is likely to stay the same. We expect Apple to launch new band styles and colors at the March event, which we do not expect to have an impact on the model.”

Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of Apple, with a price target of $172, which implies an upside of 71% from current levels.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gene Munster has a total average return of 17% and a 60% success rate. Munster has a 21% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #6 out of 3694 analysts.

Facebook Inc

In a research report issued Tuesday, SunTrust Robinson analyst Robert Peck reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) with a price target of $125, after internet advertising firm Kenshoo released new data on Mobile App Advertising Trends, which supports the analyst’s bullish stance on Facebook’s monetization potential for core News Feed and Instagram.

Peck observed, “Ad Spending increased over 150% and installs were up nearly 200% driven by stable CTRs and better conversions – resulting in LOWER CPIs and higher ROIs. While price inflation hasn’t occurred yet, we think the strong ROIs combined with improving targeting and analytics capabilities and app developers driving higher Life Time Value (LTV) should provide further “pricing power” (or uplift) for Facebook and Instagram. We believe Facebook has several levers to drive growth in the future including pricing power on core products, ad product innovation (video, DPAs), new revenue streams (search, commerce etc.) and unmonetized products Messenger and WhatsApp.”

According to, analyst Robert Peck has a total average return of 1.9% and a 50% success rate. Peck has a 35.5% average return when recommending FB, and is ranked #894 out of 3694 analysts.

Out of the 47 analysts polled by TipRanks, 42 rate Facebook stock a Buy, 4 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of 20%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $128.71.

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