What to Expect from Apple Inc. (AAPL) Annual Shareholder Meeting Today

BTIG's Walter Piecyk wonders if Apple will answer questions regarding its U.S.

Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) about to serve up the lowdown on its domestic investment plan during its Annual Shareholder Meeting today? One bull can’t help wondering, knowing the tech titan is facing question marks on back of new tax plan approval attention. In this plan, Apple has pledged to offer $350 billion over to the U.S. economy’s table.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk notes, “When Apple issued its tax-relief press release it created quite a stir as investors speculated on who might benefit from increased US investment,” drawing the following verdict: “Our conclusion was that the tax-plan would primarily benefit investors, through higher reported EPS and more flexibility for share repurchase activity.”

Worthy of note, the tech titan unveiled $10 billion of share repurchase in its first fiscal quarter for 2018, a rise from not even $8 billion in every one of the previous three quarters of 2017.

Ahead of the meeting, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AAPL stock with a $198 price target, which implies a 21% upside from current levels. (To watch Piecyk’s track record, click here)

Additionally, “Apple might also be asked about the timing of an accelerated capital return policy, but the company has more typically updated its capital return policy in late April/early May during its FQ2 earnings conference calls,” writes Piecyk.

The analyst finds unfavorable odds for CEO Tim Cook and co. to release information on just “how the geographic mix” of investments “will change.” This query follow’s Apple’s tax-relief release that spoke of a $30 billion capital investment that has left Piecyk musing if this indicates a boost from the current guide. The 10-Q Apple filed a week ago showed a capital investment plan that seems to have stayed intact with “no change.”

Lastly, regarding the $38 billion Apple is primed to shell out to the U.S. Treasury in a slice of repatriation taxes, the analyst concludes: “Apple has also not provided a specific timetable for when it will be paying the $38 billion repatriation tax bill to the US Treasury, a question that could be asked during the meeting. The 10 -Q indicates that payments will be made in installments, but does not mention a time frame. We believe it could be over an eight year period based on guidance issued by the IRS on the repatriation tax.”

TipRanks reveals a largely optimistic analyst consensus surveying the big Apple’s tech prospects. Out of 30 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 18 are bullish on Apple stock with 12 playing it on the sidelines. With a robust return potential of nearly 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $193.19.

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