Analysts Weigh In On Two Stock Giants: Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)

Top analysts weigh in on world innovation leader Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and American multinational conglomerate, parent company of Google, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), commenting on an upcoming launch event and recent marketing research, respectively.

Apple Inc.

Apple is hosting a launch event today where they are presumed to debut new products including the much awaited iPhone “SE”, the 9.7” iPad Pro, new Apple Watch bands, and a host of software updates. What effect will this event have on the technology giant?

According to Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves , the upcoming event will a have minimal impact on the stock, and continue to recommend owning AAPL. He states,  “We do not expect the new hardware or software to materially alter our outlook for earnings or our view of the stock. We continue to recommend owning AAPL based on likely growth in the iPhone 7 cycle and what we view as an attractive valuation.”

The analyst expects the iPhone SE to replace the iPhone 5s at the same price points of $450 and $500. As a result of this, the iPhone SE is expected to sell in a similar volume as the iPhone 5s , and have a similar overall margin profile. The analyst notes, “We believe the SE is positioned specifically to avoid the risk of significant changes in iPhone product mix going forward (i.e., to avoid trade-downs).Given this positioning and the likelihood for a similar unit and margin profile to the iPhone 5s, we do not expect the iPhone SE to have a meaningful impact on forward estimates.”

The analyst also explains that he does not expect iPad updates to cause significant change, claiming, “We do not expect the updates to materially change our outlook for iPad units, which seem likely to continue declining through F2016, but at a moderating rate.”

Subsequently, the analyst mentions that the new Apple Watch bands expected to be announced at the event will also have “no notable impact to Apple Watch sales volume.” Instead, he believes the company should “launch a broader range of wearables.” He explains, “We believe this should include devices with much less functionality than is included in the Apple Watch, more similar to data trackers….which could have a more positive impact on our outlook for the company’s performance in the category.”

The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on the company with a $178 price target. Andy Hargreaves is ranked #64 out of 3,820 analysts on TipRanks. He has a 59% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 26.4% per recommendation.Andy Hargreaves Stats

According to TipRanks, based on 37 analysts offering recommendations for AAPL in the last 3 months, the overall consensus is Strong Buy with a total of 31 Buy ratings, 1 Sell rating, and 5 neutral ratings. The average 12-month price target according to TipRanks is $133.24, marking a 26% upside upside from where shares last closed.

Alphabet Inc.

Wells Fargo analyst Peter Stabler recently hosted a call with Chris Costello, Senior Director of Marketing Research at Kenshoo, a leading search and social marketing technology provider. Costello discussed Google’s spending trends, as well as changes to its search engine results pages.

Google’s changes to its desktop search engine results pages involved the elimination of right-hand rail ads, and an added fourth ad above organic results for highly commercial searches, with the expected maximum “on page ad load” moving from 11 to 7.
Mr. Costello reported increases in paid desktop Google clicks (in a range of +4-6%) and Google desktop search ad spend (+2-3%) following the weeks after changes were made to desktop SERPs.

According the analyst, Mr. Costello estimated total search ad spend growth for the quarter to date was “in the +5-10% YoY range, roughly in line with Kenshoo’s +8% YoY total search ad spend growth estimate for 4Q15.”

As a result of growth in clicks and advertising, the analyst maintains an Outperform rating and and $900-$925 price target on GOOGL shares. Peter Stabler has a 65% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 25% per recommendation.

According to TipRanks, based on 36 analysts offering recommendations for GOOGL in the last 3 months, the overall consensus is Strong Buy with 36 analysts bullish on the stock and one remaining on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for GOOGL is $923.33, marking a 22.23% upside from where shares last closed.


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