Merrill Lynch upgrades Apple to a “buy”
On January 12, 2016, Bank of America (BAC) Merrill Lynch upgraded Apple (AAPL) to a “buy” from a “neutral” rating and stated that supply chain concerns and lower iPhone sales were factored into its share prices.
According to a Merrill Lynch survey, China (FXI), the largest smartphone market in the world, is seeing strong demand for the iPhone. It gave a price target of $130 to Apple.
Piper Jaffray lowers iPhone estimates
Investment company Piper Jaffray lowered its iPhone shipment estimates to 55 million units for fiscal 1Q16 as Apple cut its iPhone orders. Apple’s 1Q16 revenues are estimated to be $55.8 billion, down from a previous estimate of $60.7 billion, according to the company. Wall Street expects Apple’s revenues to be $59.7 billion in 1Q16.
RBC Capital Markets’ Amit Daryanani expects iPhone shipments to fall to 45 million units in 1Q16, which is well below Wall Street estimates of between 50–58 million. Apple sold 61 million iPhones in 1Q15, so this forecast is surprising, as it means a fall of 26% YoY (year-over-year).
Brean Capital reiterated its 12-month price target of $170 for Apple, predicting that Apple will ship 250 million iPhone units in fiscal 2016.
Out of 53 analysts covering the stock, 43 have “buy” recommendations on it and ten have “hold” recommendations. The analyst stock price target for the company is $145.4, with a median target estimate of $143.
Apple has a high target estimate of $200 and a low target estimate of $102. It’s trading at a discount of 43% to median analyst estimates.