Top Analyst Sets Expectations on Apple (AAPL) Stock Ahead of Wednesday’s Big Event

It’s finally here. Wednesday morning, executives at Apple (AAPL) will take the stage during the tech giant’s big event at its Steve Jobs Theater. During the highly anticipated show, Apple is expected to announce three new iPhone X models, alongside a few other new products.

With Apple stock hitting new highs in the weeks leading up to the iPhone hoedown, and trading nearly 30% higher year to date, the pressure is on. Will Apple’s new products be able to live up to investors high expectations? Monness’ top analyst Brian White believes so, reiterating a Buy rating on AAPL, with a price target of $275, which implies an upside of 26% from current levels. (To see White’s stock picks, click here)

The analyst gives a close look at what the ever-active Apple rumor mill is anticipating: “Although we expect the iPhone to remain the star of Wednesday’s show, Apple’s Special Event has become broader in scope over the years. Apple is widely expected to introduce three new iPhone models with a 5.8-inch iPhone Xs, a 6.1-inch iPhone 9 and a 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max (or Plus). In our view, changing display sizes with a new iPhone rollout provides a catalyst for incremental consumer upgrades. Moreover, by segmenting the upper echelon of the iPhone portfolio with two OLED-based iPhone Xs models, we believe Apple can nudge more consumers into the luxury iPhone category.”

Furthermore, “We expect the addition of a 512GB storage capacity on these two new iPhones. Furthermore, media reports have trumpeted the addition of a gold color pattern to the iPhone Xs/Xs Max (Plus), a positive in our view given that gold was surprisingly absent from the iPhone X and providing another reason for some consumers that bought the iPhone X to upgrade. Finally, the 6.1-inch LCD-based iPhone 9 will address the mainstream iPhone user with a lower price point and will likely include the addition of Apple’s TrueDepth Camera that supports Face ID ( currently only available on the iPhone X),” the analyst added.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Brian White has a yearly average return of 19.3% and a 68% success rate. White has a 21.3% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #70 out of 4871 analysts.

Net net, out of the 38 analysts polled in the past 12 months, 22 rate Apple stock a Buy, 15 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a slight downside potential, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $217.03. (See AAPL price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)


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