Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone X Cycle Sentiment is Looking Great Ahead of Retail Store Debut Friday, Says Drexel Hamilton

Brian White commends shipment lead times of five to six weeks for AAPL, spotlighting attractive upside.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is striding into its iPhone X debut on Friday after an impressive pre-order launch from last Friday, with enthusiasm bubbling and circling the iPhone cycle.

From the eyes of Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, this momentum should keep firing up further, he notes shipment lead times already were vaulting within the first hour alone, hitting five to six weeks. This is encouraging, writes the analyst, as “these pre-orders can be recognized as shipments in the December quarter.”

Keeping attention peeled to Friday to gain a better sense of excitement for the iPhone X with in-store availability, the analyst maintains a Buy rating on AAPL stock with a price target of $208, which implies a 24% increase from current levels. (To watch White’s track record, click here)

White opines, “The massive shift to pre-ordering new iPhones online has dampened the tradition of standing in line for a new iPhone; however, we wonder if curious consumers will want to visit Apple (or a carrier) this Friday to try out the new iPhone X in person. Moreover, those consumers that are on the fence between buying the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the iPhone X will likely want to compare the new models in person at a store.”

Not all is rosy for the tech giant, as the analyst acknowledges, “Although we believe Apple is benefitting from strong demand from the iPhone X, the company is also struggling with supply constraints.” For this reason, the analyst asserts: “As such, a sound debate around the key driver for the surging shipping lead times can be made by reasonable people. Thus we believe it was important for Apple to highlight the demand side of the equation for the iPhone X by providing a comment to CNBC on Friday that included the following statement: ‘We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts,'” which leaves White confident as investment shifts to the “positive.”

This Drexel Hamilton bull is not the only expert on Wall Street taking a bullish bite into the tech titan, considering TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 30 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 23 rate a Buy on Apple stock while 7 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $177.69, marking a nearly 6% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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