Pacific Crest Analyst Bullish on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Cautious on Its Supply Chain

Easing comps and growing replacement volume to drive improved iPhone unit growth through the iPhone 7 cycle, says Pacific Crest

Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves is out with a favorable report on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), although he maintains a cautious standpoint on the tech giant’s supply chain.

For Hargreaves, though overall positive on AAPL shares, he questions whether the giant will continue to outperform come 2H16, expressing, “We see limited opportunities for growth during the iPhone 7 cycle and given uncertainty regarding future pricing trends as we look forward to the OLED iPhone in 2017.”

Until the iPhone 7’s release, Hargreaves believes, “[…] we expect component orders to be down 15-20% on the iPhone 7 vs. the iPhone 6s, which compares to our estimate of iPhone sell-in of down 5%. We believe the factors impacting this muted outlook include: (1) a more conservative iPhone 7 build, (2) mix shift to the low end and (3) better manufacturing yields.”

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Overall, “We recommend investors continue to own AAPL and expect easing comps and growing replacement volume to drive improved iPhone unit growth through the iPhone 7 cycle,” Hargreaves concludes, indicating that as anticipation builds for the giant’s next iPhone cycle come 2017, shares should be sparked by some driving momentum.

The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on AAPL with a price target of $121, which represents a 13% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Andy Hargreaves is ranked #140 out of 4,127 analysts. Hargreaves has a 61% success rate and realizes 17.0% in his yearly returns. When recommending AAPL, Hargreaves earns 19.4% 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 12-month average price target stands at $125.63, marking a 17% upside from where the shares last closed.



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