Analysts Jumping All Over Their Apple and iPhone Calls

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has managed to post another positive earnings report. What’s different this time is that analysts and investors had mostly been bracing for weak iPhone numbers ahead of the report. One driver of the stock aside from the earnings is a massive $100 billion share buyback plan that effectively has not been challenged by any other company in the world.

24/7 Wall St. already has covered its earnings report, guidance and buyback in detail, and we wanted to offer up a slew of Wall Street analyst calls that have been made. Many more analyst calls will be coming out over the course of the day and this week, so stay tuned.

Apple reported $2.73 in EPS and $61.1 billion in revenue, beating consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $2.69 EPS on $60.98 billion in revenue. The same period of last year had $2.10 in EPS on $52.9 billion in revenue. The iPhone moved 52.2 million units, up 3% year over year, and iPhone revenue was $38.0 billion, an increase of 14%. Apple’s iPad was 9.11 million units sold, an increase of 2%, and iPad revenues increased 6% to $4.11 billion. Mac sales were 4.08 million units, down 3% from last year, but revenues remained flat at $5.85 billion. Apple’s services revenues increased 31% to $9.19 billion.

See our earlier coverage for the rest of the details on the earnings report. Meanwhile, below are the analyst calls that have been seen after the earnings report.

Barclays maintained its Equal Weight rating on Apple shares but still raised its target price to $161 from $157.

BMO Capital Markets maintained its Market Perform rating and raised its target price to $171 from $166.

Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $225 from $220. The firm noted that the implied iPhone units in the coming quarterly guidance was higher than investor expectations, and iPhone X was the number one selling phone in China. Also noted were that services growth of 31% was much broader than just licensing increases. Merrill Lynch also sees gross margins having tailwinds into 2019 from lower component costs, flow through of foreign exchange (currency) benefits and also an improving services mix.

BTIG reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target price to $207 from $198. The firm increased 2018 expectations to estimate to $12.55 EPS based on higher share repurchase activity and on increased revenue expectations for service revenues and from the Apple Watch.

Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target price to $208 from $200. Just a day earlier, the firm said that it had anticipated lower iPhone average selling prices due to mix and lower unit sales due to inventory reductions.

CFRA (S&P) reiterated its Buy rating and $195 price target. The firm’s target is based on 14.9 times its fiscal 2019 EPS target after better than expected earnings, stable iPhone unit shipments and growing revenue through services.

FBN Securities maintained the stock at Outperform but lowered its target price to $200 from $210. The view is that Apple may have disappointed investors by announcing (only) a $100 billion new share repurchase authorization, but the better report and guidance were far more important.

HSBC reiterated its Buy rating and has a $205 price target.

Loop Capital reiterated its Buy rating and $195 price target. The firm believes that Apple’s shares have to digest stronger-than-anticipated results after absorbing significant reductions in iPhone unit expectations that it believes is likely to have a tail through the year and the launch of the iPhone X V2.

Again, more Apple analyst reports soon will become available.

Shares of Apple closed Tuesday up 2.3% at $169.10, and the stock was last seen up more than 4% at $176.44 after about an hour of trading on Wednesday at a level that was more or less in line with the initial after-hours reaction on Tuesday. Apple has a 52-week trading range of $142.20 to $183.50.

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