Analysts Choose Tech Giants Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) as Top Picks

After an updated Drexel Hamilton Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Monitor report and strong financial third-quarter earnings from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), analysts are providing bullish forecasts for two of the tech-verse’s key giants, as well as arguments for why these stocks are chosen as top picks. Let’s take a closer look:

Apple Inc.

Drexel Hamilton top analyst Brian White is out with a research report on Apple after this morning’s Apple Monitor update indicating all the companies registered in his system have posted October sales with results “slightly below historical seasonality for the month.” Nonetheless, the analyst remains bullish on the tech titan and reiterates a Buy rating on AAPL with a price target of $185, which represents just under a 72% increase from where the shares last closed.

White argues, “We believe the recent 6% correction in Apple since the company reported 4Q:FY16 results a couple of weeks ago represents another attractive buying opportunity,” maintaining AAPL as his top pick for the second half of 2016.

“Final October sales for our Apple Monitor rose by 6% MoM and slightly below the average increase of nearly 7% over the past eleven years,” White adds, reminding that this result comes on the heels of “the strongest September quarter ever for our Apple Barometer. Over the past five years, average October sales for our Apple Monitor have risen by 6% MoMa.”

Lastly, “Out this morning, Apple supplier Hon Hai reported nearly a 1% MoM increase in October sales and below the average increase of 12% over the past eleven years. Recall, Hon Hai reported a much stronger than seasonal September sales report with a 50% MoM increase that was well above the average rise of 25% over the previous eleven years. Also out this morning, Apple supplier Pegatron reported a 0.2% sales decline in October and slightly below the up 1% average over the past five years,” White concludes.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Brian White has achieved a high ranking of #84 out of 4,205 analysts. White upholds a 59% success rate and garners 9.0% in his annual returns. When recommending AAPL, White earns 19.0% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 34 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 28 rate a Buy on AAPL, 5 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $130.47, marking a nearly 21% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd

On back of Alibaba’s excellent third-quarter print delivered last week on November 2nd, MKM analyst Rob Sanderson anticipates “meaningful value creation to be reflected” in BABA stock throughout the next year. As robust core commerce margins and significant investments continue to swirl, the analyst remains confident and reiterates a Buy rating on shares of BABA with a $130 price target, which represents a 39% increase from current levels.

Sanderson opines, “We are making modest revisions to our forecast and introducing CY2018 estimates following a strong earnings report last week. Commerce continues to generate meaningful profits, Cloud is getting closer to break-even and the Digital Media investment cycle remains heavy. We see several areas of value creation that we believe will be increasingly reflected in the stock price over the next 12 months and beyond. BABA remains our top mega-cap pick.”

The analyst anticipates, “In the Digital Media segment, we forecast significant losses will continue through CY18 as the company continues to make large content investments. We forecast cash costs of $3.3Bn in CY17 and $3.9Bn in CY18, and losses of $700mn to $800mn in each year.” However, with a commerce margin of 61.8%, the analyst also predicts the Chinese online retail giant is divvying an accumulative $5.9 billion to its commerce investments throughout the forthcoming 10 quarters.

With regards to Single’s Day expectations, “Some media outlets are speculating that 11.11 sales could be up by as much as 40%. We think this would be considered a blow-out, representing 10.9% of our forecast for the quarter,” Sanderson contends.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Rob Sanderson is ranked #632 out of 4,205 analysts. Sanderson has a 64% success rate and realizes 3.7% in his yearly returns. When suggesting BABA, Sanderson yields 13.1% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate BABA as a Strong Buy. Out of 21 analysts polled by TipRanks, 20 are bullish on Alibaba stock and 1 remains sidelined. With a return potential for nearly 29%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $119.83.

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