Investors are seeking product updates and more information on Apple's (AAPL) business in China at tomorrow's shareholder meeting.
- Apple's record year sees the stock outperforming the S&P500 and pleasing Wall Street.
- The company could be pressured to disclose more of its China exposure.
- Tim Cook could share new developments on a VR headset and iPhone 15.
CEO Tim Cook and General Counsel Kate Adams will take the virtual stage at the annual meeting to answer questions from shareholders and provide updates.
Cook has recognized another "record year," but noted the impact of war and inflation required "deliberate and thoughtful action."
Outperforming the Benchmark
Apple shares are down -15.6% from their high on Jan. 3, 2021 and now fetch about $150. That's a bit better than the S&P 500, which fell -16.75% in the same period. Wedbush Securities raised its price target to $190 after the company reported first-quarter earnings on Feb. 2, calling Apple "a steady Cupertino ship in rough macro waters." Goldman Sachs (GS) expects the stock to reach $199.
“Apple’s installed base growth, secular growth in services, and new product innovation should more than offset cyclical headwinds to product revenue, such as a reduced iPhone unit demand due to a lengthening replacement cycle and reduced consumer demand for the PC & tablet category,” wrote analyst Michael Ng.
More News on China Risks, Audits
Corporate ethics watchdog National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is sponsoring a proposal for Apple to disclose more about the risks involved with its business in China.
Apple has urged shareholders to vote against it, saying that the company already provides the information in SEC filings and through "extensive voluntary reporting" on its international operations. Apple may also share a positive update on its operations in China.
"Asia iPhone supply chain checks this week have been incrementally more positive," and show "a modest uptick in demand coming out of China," Wedbush said in its research note.
Tim Cook Could Share Product Updates
Shareholders may ask the CEO about the timeline and operational outlook for future Apple products.
According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to reveal its much-anticipated Virtual Reality headset during its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. It would the company's first major new product category since 2015.
Others speculate that a hardware subscription plan is in the works. The iPhone Upgrade Program (iUP) would be a way to buy an iPhone in installments, spreading the cost over two years.
Finally, the iPhone 15 will likely factor into the meeting at some stage, as the new design was leaked this week. The new phone is expected to launch in fall 2023 and will likely feature a USB-C charging port to satisfy an EU mandate. Forbes reported that Apple will again make its ProMotion 120Hz displays exclusive to its most expensive Pro and Pro Max models.