Apple Inc. (AAPL) Competitive Edge at Risk, Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Could Shatter Expectations

Analysts are divided in their expectations on two leading giants: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). Rosenblatt argues that Apple’s iPhone 8 is about to lose out despite all the surrounding buzz, considering production now faces a delay- and one industry giant’s delay is another contender’s chance to sneak through the cracks and steal market share. In an opposing corner, one of Wall Street’s best-performing analyst sees a solid “sequel” for penetration in an international market, with Netfilx’s video streaming giant’s trajectory now looking better than ever. Let’s take a closer look:

Apple Faces Risk with Delayed iPhone 8 Launch and Rising Rivalry

Apple has Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang concerned, especially as a delay of its hyped launch for its 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone is now shackling the giant’s heels, bringing about a new risk factor for product projections. Meanwhile, with rivals raring to dabble into the smartphone market with virtual reality and 3D sensing, Zhang is not holding his breath for the giant’s prospects.

Therefore, analyst reiterates a Neutral rating on shares of AAPL with a $120 price target, which represents a just under 22% downside from where the stock is currently trading.

Though not shocked, Zhang’s concerns are certainly not dispelled as the tech giant’s team has decided to push out production to the back half of September. A delay spells out a new window of opportunities for competitors to seize the day, as the analyst opines, “A delay of the iPhone 8 OLED model would not surprise us as we believe production has been pushed out into the 2H of September and will likely ramp more into the March quarter. We also believe the iPhone 8 production forecast has been trimmed down from 100-110 mln units to approximately 85-90 mln units. In our view, this target has some risks due to a potentially slower-than-expected production ramp, but we do not expect further production into the March quarter. The delay might also bring more opportunities for competitors, such as Samsung’s Note 8 (005930-KR:NR), Huawei’s Mate 9, and many other Chinese OEMs adopting high screen-to-body ratios.”

Additionally, “We also note that in the December quarter, OPPO might launch a 3D sensing smartphone and Google (GOOG:NR) might launch a VR smartphone called Tango 2. In our view, the iPhone 8 could lose its competitiveness when the market fills up with high screen-to-body ratio smartphones and 3D glasses,” contends Zhang, sidelined on Apple and not buying into the rest of the Street’s hype.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Jun Zhang is ranked #3,973 out of 4,573 analysts. Zhang has a 50% success rate and faces a loss of 7.1% in his annual returns. When suggesting AAPL, Zhang forfeits 8.1% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics show AAPL as a Strong Buy. Out of 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 27 are bullish on Apple stock while 4 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 7%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $164.36.

Top Analyst Predicts the Street is Underestimating Netflix

Top analyst Michael Olson at Piper Jaffray might have already been more confident than consensus on Netflix’s profits three years from now, but he now believes even so, there is space to get further bullish on this video streaming giant. When it comes to Netflix’s potential to score meaningful spikes in international adoption, maybe it “isn’t as crazy as it sounds,” Olson suggests.

Part of the analyst’s high expectations stem from his recent survey of 1,000 broadband households in seven countries spanning UK, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Spain, and France, revealing 37% presently have Netflix subscriptions coupled with an added 13% who might not currently, but have intentions to within the next half a year. As such, the analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on NFLX while boosting the price target up to $190, which represents a 17% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

“While our Netflix EPS estimate is above consensus for 2020, it implies market penetration and contribution margin levels well below where domestic was at that stage in its lifecycle, suggesting we, and the Street, may be modeling 2020 profitability too low. […] we examine the trajectory of Netflix domestic margins and market penetration vs. int’l in the 24 quarters after each market reached 20M subs. If, in the 24 quarters after hitting 20M subs (which will occur at end of 2020), the int’l streaming business is anywhere close to the market share and margin levels achieved by domestic, then 2020 consensus EPS for Netflix would be ~100% too low. While int’l may not attain similar margin & penetration levels by 2020, we increasingly believe assumptions appear overly conservative. We are not raising our Netflix estimates today, but we are raising our NFLX PT to $190,” Olson surmises.

Michael Olson has a very good TipRanks score with a 66% success rate and a high ranking of #77 out of 4,573 analysts. Olson realizes 17.2% in his yearly returns. When recommending NFLX, Olson yields 12.9% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate NFLX as a Buy. Based on 31 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 21 rate a Buy on Netflix stock, 9 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $162.47, which aligns with current levels.

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