Consumer Electronics

Why 2020 Could Be Another Historic Year for Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares are holding near all-time highs, but this is not stopping analysts for calling for the stock to run even higher. Wedbush just came out with a report calling for Apple to add on almost another 20%.

Wedbush reiterated an Outperform rating with a $350 price target, implying an upside of 18% from the most recent closing price of $297.43. This is the result of Wedbush’s recent checks around iPhone 11 units for the holiday season. Overall iPhone sales looked robust, and AirPods performance was said to be “eye-popping.” These alone should lead to clear upside in the upcoming fiscal first-quarter report.

iPhone 11 strength appears to have legs both in the United States and China as installed base demand continues to look healthy into the March/June quarters with the drumroll into the highly anticipated 5G upgrade cycle in September. China iPhone demand is steady despite the noise and remains a linchpin of success for Cupertino around the iPhone 11 upgrade cycle, with this smartphone release unleashing a new stage of demand for Apple in this key region.

In the report, Wedbush talked about Apple’s historic run over the past year:

Many investors are asking us: Is all the good news baked into shares after an 80%+ historic upward move over the last year? The answer from our vantage point is a resounding NO, as we view only the first part of this massive upgrade opportunity leading to a transformational 5G “super cycle” with 200 million to 220 million iPhone units now the new line in sand for demand based on our recent Asia supply chain checks. Coupling this dynamic with a metamorphosis-like valuation re-rating by the Street around the company’s $50 billion+ annual services revenue stream is the 1-2 punch to how we ultimately see a stock in the $350 to a new bull case $400 valuation by year-end.

Wedbush now assigns the services business a $500 billion to $650 billion valuation range, given the increasing importance of this key revenue stream that is getting a new appreciation by investors as Apple further monetizes its golden jewel installed base of what is currently estimated at 925 million iPhones worldwide. With roughly 350 million of these iPhones in the “window of an upgrade opportunity,” Wedbush believes Apple has a unique opportunity to capture this super-cycle opportunity with a major 5G cycle on the horizon, which will include a host of new smartphone versions/models for iPhone 12.

The boutique brokerage firm even touched on Apple’s streaming service:

We estimate Apple has committed ~$6 billion annually to the original shows/movies to beef up its streaming content ambitions going forward. This is a significant step up from the $1 billion that was originally the annual budget as the company tries to keep pace in the content arms race. To this point, we believe the recent signing of former HBO CEO and content guru Richard Plepler was a coup for Apple and is the just the first step in its massive content build out.

Shares of Apple traded at $298.15 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $145.90 to $300.60. The consensus price target is $268.42.

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