Tonight’s the night: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sets loose its fourth fiscal quarter print to a bevy of bulls with eyes wide open- but as far as GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives glances at the finance theater screen, these results are merely “the popcorn for the real feature movie,” tomorrow’s official iPhone X launch.
Ives believes the quarterly showcase will essentially meet expectations, but cares far more about deciphering “tea leaves of early demand trends” in terms of iPhone X success, finding the print will be playing second-fiddle to the titan’s latest, sleekest smartphone- the kind that both “investors and the tech industry have been waiting for.”
Already taking bullish note that “pre-order sales [are] looking very strong and demand [is] outstripping supply by more than 2:1,” the analyst reiterates a Highly Attractive rating on AAPL stock with a valuation target set between $190 and $200, which implies a close to 14% to just under 20% upside from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch Ives’ track record, click here)
When it comes to CEO Tim Cook “&Co.,” anticipate a “tight lipped” hush circling the phone’s demand trajectory heading into fiscal 2018, as the phone’s official launch only hits tomorrow, writes Ives. The analyst continues expecting the Street will be hungry for any and all commentary pointing to “alleviating supply constraints out of Asia.” Based on demand trends, the analyst projects the first fiscal quarter of 2018 could see upwards of around 85 million iPhone units shipped. Yet, taking under account supply constraints, Ives adds that the guide could range between a lesser 75 million and 80 million paired “with a longer tail” entering the second fiscal quarter and through the remainder of fiscal 2018.
Overall, “While iPhone 8/8+ sales have been soft out of the gates (not surprising), our surveys/store checks are seeing ‘white hot’ pent up demand for the iPhone X which we believe could lead to total iPhone units shipped being north of 260 million in FY18 and translate into a super-cycle product release surpassing the iconic iPhone 6 release/unit numbers. Overall for the September quarter, we are expecting generally in-line top and bottom-line results from Apple with iPhone units shipped in the 44 million to 45 million range,” Ives contends.
Until then, this analyst will be cheering from the titan’s bullish camp “watching the iPhone X super cycle product release take hold over the next year.”
Wall Street’s majority is taking a big bite into Apple, with the tech leader earning one of the best analyst consensus rating in the financial universe. TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Out of 28 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 22 are bullish on Apple stock while 6 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 7%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $179.00.