Analysts Vouch for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as iPhone 6 and iWatch Release Date Nears

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By Athena Yenko | June 26, 2014 1:26 PM EST

Analysts are vouching for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as iPhone 6 and iWatch release dates are nearing by the day.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.

The market is anticipating the iPhone 6 as it is reportedly designed to have larger display screen.  Apple's iPhone had always been the company's most profitable business and accounted for more than half of Apple's total revenue. The iWatch on the other hand will be Apple's newest product to be created since Steve Job's demise. The foreseen growth in the market demand for these two new products will provide investors of favourable entrypoints and will have investors piling in for Apple's stock. 

Various analysts are increasing their price targets of Apple stock with one firm weighing Apple's growth index rising on reconstituted Russell 1000 index.

JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall upped his price target of Apple to $108 from previous estimate of $89. Hall is betting on new product launches coming by last quarter of 2014 - redesigned iPhone and iWatch coming this fall, according to a note to investors obtained from AppleInsider.

Bernstein analysts Toni Sacconaghi Jr., Eric Garfunkel and Jonathan Cofsky increased their price target of Apple to $100 per share and maintained their bullish rating on the stock. The three analysts are also betting on bigger iPhone 6 and iWatch. They also think that growth managers are collectively underweight on Apple and will close the gap in advance of the iPhone 6 launch. The seven-for-one stock split had also "broaden retail interest in the stock" according to the analysts. The stock also poses very limited risk as it is "attractively valued, the analysts said.

The Bernstein analysts are also weighing on Apple's growth index rise in the Russell 1000 index that will be reconstituted in June. The analysts are seeing a 4.1 per cent to 5.3 per cent growth. Apple's rise in the Russell Growth index will force fund managers to buy more of Apple's shares.

Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha had also raised his price target of Apple from $85.71 to $96, betting on "enviable portfolio of iServices." Garcha is also vouching on immense subscription-based music with Beats now on board. He expects for Apple to snatch the streaming music trend market with its Beats acquisition.

"We believe Apple is likely to further accelerate the music subscription market's development via its recent purchase of Beats Music. Apple has an iTunes installed base of around 800mn users - providing a global distribution platform and, crucially, a virtually frictionless payment system. It seems logical then to expect Apple to include Beats Music in a software upgrade to its entire global installed base, and/or bundle a free/discounted subscription for a fixed period with new hardware at the point of sale," Garcha wrote.

"We forecast music subscription services can grow from 14mn paying subscribers in 2013 to just over 148mn by 2025, with penetration of adult populations (15-64 years) rising from 5% to 20% of in each of the 10 major music markets in the world. Penetration levels would still be significantly lower than for pay TV subscription in developed markets, and just 7% of global smartphone penetration. We highlight the examples of Sweden and Norway, where penetration of music subscription services has already reached 19-24% of music revenue," Garch noted.

Investment firm Needham had also increase its price target of Apple to $97 vouching on successful iPhone 4S sales during the March quarter, the introduction of the Swift programming language and larger screen size for iPhone 6.

Cowen & Company analyst Timothy Arcuri also increased its price target of Apple from $90 to $102 with estimated iPhone 6 sales reaching some 100 million units before 2014 ends. The analyst is also betting on iWatch coming this fall.

Analyst Amit Daryanani from RBC Capital Markets had also increased his price target of Apple from $96 to $100 per share with an estimated iPhone 6 starting price at $299 and prediction of the iWatch becoming a health monitoring system.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.
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