From a note to clients by analyst T. Michael Walkley that landed on my desk Tuesday:
Based on our North America survey work, iPhone maintained its leading market share at all 4 major US carriers and overall iPhone sales remained resilient with likely over 50% share at these carriers. Given the strong consumer satisfaction with iPhones, we anticipate Apple will continue to grow its global share of the premium smartphone market. Further, we believe Apple’s ecosystem will contribute to strong ongoing growth for services revenue, and we expect the higher margin services revenue growth to continue outpacing total company growth.
We believe Apple is likely to launch three new iPhones in September with possible lower price points, and greater segmentation could lead to YoY unit growth in C2019. We believe Apple continues to grow its leading market share of the premium-tier smartphone market and believe the iPhone installed base will exceed 700M in 2018. This impressive installed base should drive strong iPhone replacement sales and earnings, as well as cash flow generation to fund strong long-term capital returns.
Maintains Buy, raises price target to $250 from $220.
Below: Walkley’s price target history, minus the latest uptick. Click to enlarge.
My take: It’s not like Walkley to let Apple’s stock price overtake his price target. I wonder what happened.