Analysts probe into the tech-verse amidst a guarded perspective on near-term iPhone outlook for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and a volatile week leading into approaching earnings results for Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Even with noted concerns, the analysts see reason to remain bullish on both names.
Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz offers insight on Apple after deciding to remove the tech giant from its Top Pick designation as part of the analyst’s Hardware coverage, a position AAPL had held since Moskowitz’s coverage launch on October 15, 2015.
Moskowitz believes, “Our research indicates a recovery in global smartphone growth could be pushed out. Plus, conversations with industry participants suggest iPhone sales trends could be at risk of petering out in coming months, similar to last year’s post-IP6S launch fallout.”
However, “Not all is troubling,” the analyst notes, adding, “Despite our more guarded view on the near-term iPhone outlook, we are lifting our estimates for the Mac and iPad businesses. The revisions provide a partial tonic but do not fully overcome the iPhone cuts. These upward revisions are on the back of the revised Barclays PC and tablet forecasts published concurrently.”
As such, the analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on AAPL while trimming the price target to $114 (from $121), which represents a slight increase from where the shares last closed.
For Moscowitz, this signals “possible near-term tumult after the stock’s recent run.” Additionally, Moskowitz reduces 2016 smartphone revenue and unit growth estimates to 2.9% and 2.6%, respectively, compared to prior estimates of -0.7% and 3.7%.
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, five-star analyst Mark Moskowitz is ranked #180 out of 4,181 analysts. Moskowitz has a 63% success rate and realizes 13.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending AAPL, Moskowitz garners 35.5% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 36 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 31 rate a Buy on AAPL, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $128.11, marking a 13% upside from where the stock is currently trading.
Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron is set to deliver earnings on October 4th, with shares having moved between 3 to 5% in each of the last two trading days ahead of earnings. Nomura analyst Romit Shah reiterates a Buy rating on shares of MU with a $23 price target, which represents a nearly 30% increase from where the stock is currently trading. Shah raises estimates as a reflection of September’s revised guidance coupled with the analyst’s prediction that momentum will continue in November’s period.
On back of the semi-conductor giant’s revised guidance of $0.15 to $0.20, Shah forecasts revenues of $3.2 billion, a gross margin of 19%, and EPS of -$0.10 for the August period. While the analyst’s November EPS projection of $0.17 tops consensus of $0.08, Shah believes it falls under what he interprets as consensus expectations of $0.20 to $0.25.
Shah says to “buckle up” as he expects the mutability to continue. “We expect volatility to continue into earnings next week, but would encourage investors to continue to accumulate shares, especially on weakness,” the analyst contends.
From the analyst’s perspective, “Micron’s DRAM pricing outlook should be a key driver, asn while pricing overall is improving, product mix is important. Along those lines, investors should contemplate that Specialty DRAM, which accounts for 25-30% of total DRAM shipments, has not seen the same level of pricing strength as PC, server and mobile.”
Shah believes, “While the bar for guidance is high, history suggests that we are in the early part of a positive revision cycle. As such, we remain buyers of Micron, especially on weakness.”
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Romit Shah is ranked #245 out of 4,181 analysts. Shah has a 61% success rate and realizes 9.9% in his annual returns. When recommending MU, Shah yields 9.8% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate MU as a Buy. Based on 20 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 15 rate a Buy on MU, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $18.64, marking a 7% upside from where the shares last closed.