Three reasons Apple is Piper Jaffray’s top big stock pick
Apple is Piper Jaffray’s top large cap stock pick, senior analyst Gene Munster reported Monday. His note to clients is full of threes:
—New products: The company is entering a holiday quarter with three of them—Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iPad Pro. “While new products in the Dec-15 quarter are well known to the Street,” he writes, “we do not believe they are reflected in Street numbers.”
—Upgrade program: Munster estimates that three out of four U.S. iPhone customers will become annual upgraders by the end of 2018, up from 10% today.
—The iPhone 7: He expects next year’s iPhone to be a more “revolutionary” device than the iPhone 6S. Three possible changes—a buttonless front panel, longer battery life, and an optional sapphire screen.
Munster is a long-time Apple bull best known for his repeated predictions that Apple would bring a television to market, which didn’t exactly come true. He’s more cautious these days, but his estimates are still higher than the Street’s. With Apple set to release fiscal fourth quarter results next week, he’s calling for earnings of $1.90 per share on revenues of $51.1 billion. His 12-month price target is $172 a share. Apple closed Friday at $111.04.
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