Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose by 12.3% between April 1 and June 30. That’s the good news. The less good news is that for the first six months of 2021, Apple’s share price has gone up by just 3.6%. We say “just” because Apple stock rose by 82% in 2020.
The stock closed on Wednesday at $136.96, up about 0.5% for the day. The median 12-month price target based on forecasts from 42 analysts is $160. Those numbers imply a potential upside of about 16.8%. Three-quarters of the analysts who cover Apple rate the stock a Buy (24) or a Strong Buy (eight). Only three analysts recommend selling the stock.
Apple next reports quarterly earnings after markets close on July 29, and the consensus estimates call for earnings per share of $1.00, a jump of 35% compared with the same quarter in 2020. Revenue is currently forecast to rise more than 22%, from $59.69 billion in the same quarter last year to $72.98 billion.
The engine driving Apple’s success is, unsurprisingly, the iPhone 12 series introduced last November. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple has sold more than 100 million units in the iPhone 12 series in just seven months. That is virtually identical with the sales history of the iPhone 6.
Counterpoint notes the iPhone 6 met consumer demand for large-screen iPhones and came just as 4G/LTE networks were replacing 3G networks. Sales of the iPhone 12 series are being driven by the transition to 5G capability and the higher-quality OLED screens on the new devices.
Another feature driving Apple’s revenue and profits is a record-high average selling price for an iPhone 12. According to Counterpoint, the iPhone 12 series has produced 22% more revenue in its first seven months than did the iPhone 11 series over a similar period.
While revenues are on track for a record June quarter, Apple’s market share has declined in South Korea. According to ZDNet, citing data from Counterpoint Research, in the first calendar quarter of this year, Samsung had a grip of 67% of the Korean smartphone market, a jump of 9% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple’s share of the market dropped by nine points, from 31% in the December 2020 quarter to 22% in the March 2021 quarter.
Finally, citing Taiwanese tech news site Digitimes, MacRumors reports that Apple will announce new MacBook Pro models in September. The new devices will include 14-inch and 16-inch screen sizes, miniLED displays and a faster version of Apple’s own M1 processor.
MacRumors noted that the new MacBook Pro models “will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook line in recent years [and] are expected to feature a flat-edged design,” along with the miniLED display, faster chips and more ports for HDMI and SD-cards.
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