Merrill Lynch Positive on Apple Inc. (AAPL) Amid Strong Initial iPhone 7/Plus Demand

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is showing up to the table with stellar initial demand for its newest iPhone upgrades, the 7 and 7 Plus, ever since pre-orders hit on September 9th, and carriers like Sprint are taking notice. New and old customers alike have raced to place their pre-orders, and consequently, the numbers have amplified four times from this time last year.

Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan remains cautiously excited, as he does believe it remains early in the iPhone 7 cycle, but commends initial trends for soaring strong. As such, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating with a price target of $120, which represents just under a 9% increase from where the shares last closed.

While pre-order rates might not paint the full picture as far as total phone units shipped in the fiscal year of 2017, Mohan believes, “Some of the incentives could also have a pull forward effect on demand.”

“These initial media reports are in-line with our thesis that there is a significant portion of the installed base of iPhones which is old (earlier than iPhone 5S) and carrier incentives and attractive pricing could induce both those customers with old phones, as well as customers with newer iPhones and new users to buy the latest generation iPhone 7/7 Plus driving better than expected demand,” the analyst concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Wamsi Mohan is ranked #1,243 out of 4,163 analysts. Mohan has a 57% success rate and earns 3.1% in his yearly returns. When recommending AAPL, Mohan gains 0.3% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 35 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 30 rate a Buy on AAPL, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $125.44, marking a nearly 15% upside from where the stock is currently trading.screen-shot-09-14-16-at-05-24-pm

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