Analysts Weigh in Sidelined on Stock Giants Apple Inc. (AAPL) and General Motors Company (GM); Here’s Why

Both tech titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) posted quarterly earnings on Tuesday. Analysts from Oppenheimer and Nomura are providing cautious perspectives from the sidelines amid the opinion that consensus has been too confident with its expectations for Apple and noted risks remaining abroad for General Motors. Let’s take a closer look:

Apple Inc.

Apple delivered its fiscal fourth-quarter print on Tuesday, October 25th, marking its third consecutive quarter of reporting waning year-over-year revenue. In reaction, Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz reiterates a Perform rating on shares of AAPL without listing a price target.

The titan posted EPS of $1.67, mirroring the analyst’s estimate and topping consensus of $1.66. Revenue of $46.9 billion also matched Uerkwitz’s projection and almost hit the Street’s projection of $46.94 billion. However, compared to this quarter last year’s numbers of EPS of $1.96 and revenue of $51.5 billion, there certainly has been a decline. Nonetheless, the titan posted an iPhone sales beat of 45.5 million unit, compared to the expectation of 44.8 million iPhones. iPhone shipments dipped 5.5% year-over-year.

Guidance for the fiscal first quarter of 2017 indicates management expects iPhone shipments to increase 2% year-over-year. From the analyst’s perspective, this is a “positive surprise” and can be largely attributable to an increase in iPhone ASP. Nonetheless, the suggested year-over-year iPhone unite growth is simply “not material to support a more bullish view.”

Uerkwitz tweaks estimates for the fiscal year of 2017 and 2018. For 2017, the analyst raises his revenue projection from $211 billion to $218 billion, and for 2018, the analyst maintains his revenue forecast at $248 billion. For 2017, Uerkwitz raises his EPS estimate from $8.30 to $8.35, and for 2018, he lowers EPS from $10.84 to $10.40, “based on higher-than-expected F1Q17 guidance and higher opex assumptions.”

Still, the analyst believes, “It is hard to prove that the iPhone 7 cycle is stronger or weaker than 6s, since Apple no longer reports first weekend sales and new models are supply-constrained, which is typical for this time of the year. […] We maintain that the real proof of iPhone 7 cycle strength lies in March and June ’17 results. We raise estimates due to better-than-expected ASP-driven guidance. However, our FY17 numbers remain below consensus.”

“We reiterate our view that iPhone 7 is running into an elongated replacement cycle and consensus has been too optimistic. We believe there is substantial downside risk to March and June ’17 iPhone shipment estimates due to slower replacement and anticipation for the 2017 iPhone,” Uerkwitz contends.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Andrew Uerkwitz is ranked #315 out of 4,188 analysts. Uerkwitz has a 54% success rate and gains 7.6% in his annual returns. However, when recommending AAPL, Uerkwitz loses 8.3% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 35 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 29 rate a Buy on AAPL, 5 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $130.47, marking a nearly 13% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

General Motors Company

General Motors’ Tuesday earnings results for its financial third quarter did bring in a beat thanks to a North American outclass. Despite the automaker’s “strong” results, Nomura analyst Anindya Das ultimately maintains a cautious stance in regards to Brexit’s impact on the company’s potential for a 2016 “European turnaround.” Additionally, even though GM is “positive about China,” Das remains wary.

As such, the analyst reiterates a Neutral rating on GM with a price target of $33, which represents a 4% increase from current levels.

Compared to the Street’s expectation for revenue of $40.09 billion and Das’ model for $37.8 billion 3, the automaker yielded revenue of $42.8 billion, marking a 10% increase on back of U.S. inventory build-up. GM outperformed the analyst’s EPS estimate of $1.26 with a solid $1.79 result. North American retail sales saw a 1% decline to 919,000 units, which denotes a 3% dip in year-over-year.

Das opines, “Management reiterated their cautious view regarding Europe, with the industry seeing a lot of unprofitable fleet sales in Q3. There was a $100mn negative impact due to Brexit in 3Q, with the company estimating another $300mn impact in 4Q 16, if current market conditions continue. As a result, GM’s European breakeven target this year is at risk. […] We agree with the management’s view regarding Europe and think that the GBP’s fall would lead to other automakers to follow suit eventually, impacting affordability in the UK auto market, and depressing sales.”

Overall, “We continue to remain circumspect about China and expect margins to fall sharply for the industry in 2017 and that is the reason for our cautious view despite GM’s strong US business,” Das concludes.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate GM as a Buy. Based on 7 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 rate a Buy on GM, while 4 maintain a Hold. The consensus price target stands at $37.33, marking an 18% upside from where the shares last closed.screen-shot-10-27-16-at-03-34-pm

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