Zach Wohlberg

About the Author Zach Wohlberg

Zach is currently studying Finance at the University of Maryland and is originally from Stamford, CT. He is most interested in public markets and Macroeconomic trends.

This Is How the Brexit Could Impact Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Bank of America Corp (BAC)

The announcement of the UK exiting the EU shocked markets around the world. With high levels of uncertainty surrounding the decision, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) both saw shares plunge on fears of a decrease in European business.

Markets immediately had a negative reaction to the breaking news due to the uncertain impact on global markets in terms of trade, employment visas, and future currency valuations due to the lack of precedent regarding a country leaving the EU. Upon the news, the NASDAQ fell 4.1% and the US Dollar appreciated against the Pound and Euro as investors looked to put their money in safe-haven assets.

Apple Inc.

Technology giant Apple fell 2.1% the day after Brexit, but investors are split on the effects that the exit will have on Apple. Investors are worried about Apple’s business in the UK and Europe for several reasons. A stronger dollar in relation to the Pound and the Euro makes Apple products, which are priced in dollars, more expensive for people in the UK and the EU. This would impact Apple’s bottom line with 21.5% of Apple’s revenue coming from European markets in its fiscal 2015. Additionally, if the Brexit consequently leads to a recession, investors are worried that consumers may not prioritize upgrading or buying Apple products.

While the consensus agreement is that Brexit is not good for Apple’s business in the UK and Europe, there are others who see opportunities for Apple to benefit from this decision. Apple can utilize the depreciating Pound and Euro to its advantage by hiring employees and building new stores and offices in Europe at a discount. Additionally, the panic that Brexit brought to the market would allow Apple to offer new bonds to conservative investors. Apple would be able to use this increase in debt leverage to fund American investments, dividends, and stock buybacks.

How Brexit plays out over the next two years will certainly influence Apple’s business, but it is not the only development investors should consider. Global markets are bound to impact Apple over the foreseeable future as it develops plans to increase its business in India and to continue to receive push back from the Chinese market.

According to TipRanks, out of the 38 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 82% gave a Buy rating, 16% gave a Hold rating and 2% gave a Sell rating. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $123.16, marking a 31.86% upside from where shares last closed.Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 1.44.47 PM

Bank of America Corp

There was nowhere for banks to hide following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Bank of America was no exception, falling 7.41% upon the news. All investors agree that the results of the referendum do not bode well for Bank of America over the next few weeks and possibly months.

Markets are expected to see increased volatility in the debt and equity markets due to the uncertainty that comes with Britain leaving the EU. This will cause Bank of America’s trading clients to stay out the markets and in turn decrease profits from the bank’s Global Markets and investment bank segments.

Bank of America’s Global Markets segment generates revenue from the commission it receives by making markets between its institutional investors. These investors trade less when markets are volatile, decreasing the commission Bank of America receives. Additionally, this volatility will decrease the fees the bank receives from helping with IPOs, issuing bonds and advising on M&A deals.

The Brexit almost guarantees that the Federal Reserve will hold off on an interest rate hike. The Fed was close to raising rates in June, but after a weak May jobs report and Brexit, many analyst predict the Fed will delay hikes until next year. Low interest rates lower banks revenues because they earn more money on their loans when interest rates are higher. A rate hike would especially help Bank of America whose most recent 10-Q indicated it would generate an extra $6 billion dollars with a 1% increase in short and long term rates.

Furthermore, Bank of America used its UK subsidiaries as a gateway into the EU. With the UK now leaving the EU, it will be forced to move 25% of its UK-based employees. This move will be a short-term expense that will weigh down profits.

Analysts are unsure of how big of an effect Brexit will have on Bank of America, but they are certain it will be a negative. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. predicts Brexit to decrease the bank’s EPS by 3.1% this year and 6.1% the following year.

According to TipRanks, out of the 14 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 79% gave a Buy rating and 21% gave a Hold rating. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $17.79, marking a 36.85% upside from current levels.Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 1.43.45 PM


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