Credit Suisse Positive On Apple Inc. (AAPL) Despite $14.5 Billion Tax Fine

On back of a two-year investigation the European Commission launched into Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) tax practices, the EU has found the tech giant guilty of allowing illegal tax benefits in Ireland, where headquarters are located. Subsequently, the EU is ordering Ireland to recover these unpaid taxes Apple evaded between 2013 and 2014 to the sharp tune of $14.5 billion, plus interest.

Despite the charge, Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of AAPL with a $150 price target, which represents a 41% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

From the analyst’s perspective, the charge should not worry investors when considering the penalty is the equivalent of less than 10% of the giant’s total net cash pile that currently stands at a solid $146.6 billion. Garcha adds, “However, even so, we believe that Apple will not likely pay this entire amount as both Apple and Ireland have stated that they will appeal the ruling.”

Both the Irish Finance Minister and AAPL CEO Tim Cook are fully readying to fight the decision, as a defense of integrity as well as a protection of what Cook believes are fairly earned profits. As such, Apple remains undaunted as it awaits a reversal of the penalty ruling.

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Garcha points out, “We would note that from 2003- 2014, Apple generated pre-tax income of ~$268bn, implying that the effective tax rate over these years should have been, on average, ~5% higher. We would note that this would be the absolute worst case scenario on a go forward basis.”

“Acknowledging a weaker product cycle near-term, we still see solid risk-reward arguments,” he concludes.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, five-star analyst Kulbinder Garcha is ranked #217 out of 4,129 analysts. Garcha has a 59% success rate and yields 8.9% in annual returns. When recommending AAPL, Garcha garners 12.5% 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 an 18% upside from where the shares last closed.


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