Apple (AAPL): Top Analyst Remains Unfazed By iPhone Sales Concerns


Expectations for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone X were always high. Some investors thought it would prompt a “super cycle,” or a big wave of upgrades from users of old iPhones. But ever since the release of the iPhone X last November, there have been reports of weak demand.

That said, Canaccord’s top analyst Michael Walkley noted that a survey he conducted in North America suggests sales of the iPhone remained “steady,” and the smartphone maintained its leading market share at all 4 major US carriers.

“Given the strong consumer satisfaction with iPhones, we anticipate Apple will continue to grow its global share of the premium smartphone market. Further, we believe Apple’s ecosystem approach including an install base of over 1.3B devices globally will contribute to strong ongoing growth for services revenue, and we expect the higher-margin services revenue growth to continue outpacing total company growth. We believe Apple is likely to launch three new iPhones in September with possible lower price points, and greater segmentation could lead to YoY unit growth in C2019. We believe Apple continues to grow its leading market share of the premium-tier smartphone market with double-digit growth of its installed base and believe the iPhone installed base exceeds 650M. This impressive installed base should drive strong iPhone replacement sales and earnings, as well as cash flow generation to fund strong long-term capital returns,” Walkley opined.

As such, Walkley reiterates a Buy rating on Apple shares, with a price target of $208, which implies an upside of 11% from current levels.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, 5-star analyst Michael Walkley has a yearly average return of 17.3% and a 63% success rate. Walkley has a 26.9% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #84 out of 4801 analysts.

If we turn to the Street in general, we can see that the stock also has a Buy analyst consensus rating. In the last three months, Apple has received 16 buy and 12 hold ratings. These analysts have an average price target on the stockof $194.42. Given that AAPL is currently trading at $187.35 this suggests a slight upside potential of nearly 4%.