Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in today with his views on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), after the tech giant commented this morning that it is on track for the iPhone 6S launch to beat the 10 million opening weekend sales from the iPhone 6 last year.
Munster expects the actual 6S opening weekend number that will likely be announced on Monday, September 28th to be 12-13 million units. The analyst observed, “From a high-level, the iPhone 6S cycle seems to be off to a 10-20% better start than the iPhone 6, but note that given China is launching for the first time in the initial launch. Excluding China, the numbers likely suggest 0-10% growth from the 6 launch. We are modeling 3% y/y growth for the 6S cycle. Given investor concern around the difficult comps in 2016, we view today’s update as a solid start to the 6S cycle.”
Factoring in today’s news, along with changes to the launch countries and anticipated production, Munster believes the takeaway is that the 6S is off to a solid start and should continue to gain share at the high-end of the smartphone market. The analyst further comment, “The most recent market share data from IDC in Jun-15 suggests iPhone global smartphone share at 14% vs 12% in Jun-14. We believe each additional point of market share beyond our expectation for 14% in CY16 adds around 17 million units or 7% to our iPhone expectations.”
In his research report, Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on Apple shares, with a price target of $172, which represents a potential upside of 49% from where the stock is currently trading.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gene Munster has a total average return of 21.3% and a 61.2% success rate. Munster has a 26.9% average return when recommending AAPL, and is ranked #7 out of 3755 analysts.
Out of the 51 analysts, 36 rate Apple stock a Buy, 13 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend Sell. With a return potential of 25%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $145.37.