Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based smartphone maker Apple Inc. (AAPL) jumped 1.8% Tuesday following a bullish research note from a team of analysts on the Street who see the stock gaining on a “super-long” iPhone cycle versus a “super cycle.” (See also: Apple Needs Its Own Streaming Service: Bernstein.)
Based on a survey of 400 iPhone buyers, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson and team remain confident regarding their upbeat expectations for the mix of iPhones to be sold in fiscal 2018. In a note published Tuesday, the Wall Street analysts wrote that they are modeling the iPhone X to account for 38% of iPhones sold this year, “essentially in-line with our survey at 35% of buyers intending to buy iPhone X.” They added that their estimated mix of iPhone 8 in FY18 is 40% and that their survey was exactly in line with that expectation.
The analysts wrote that the results have solidified their position that average selling price (ASP), revenue and earnings per share (EPS) estimates are on track. Piper Jaffray reiterated an outperform rating on AAPL, along with a $200 price target. Olson forecasts shares will rise another 16% in the upcoming 12-month period after gaining about 46% over the past 12 months compared to the S&P 500’s 19% increase over the same period.
Anticipating More X-Gen Devices
The survey supports Piper Jaffray’s estimates for an ASP of $720, revenue of $270.6 billion and EPS of $11.17 billion in fiscal 2018.
“Beyond the March and June quarters, we anticipate a wider array of X-generation devices similar to iPhone X will launch in the fall of 2018,” added Olson. He expects a lower priced X-gen option, and “wouldn’t be surprised to see” a “plus” X-gen model in ’18 that could support higher ASPs in fiscal 2019.
Also on Tuesday, Wall Street firm CLSA offered an opposing view, indicating that Apple investors’ expectations are still too high despite a stock pullback. CLSA’s Nicolas Baratte wrote that any first-quarter 2018 volume estimate over 35 million is too optimistic, indicating that “we are very skeptical that volumes will increase” in Q1, given “consumers who wanted to get an iPhone X in December 2017 already have it.” (See also: 5 Reasons Apple Will Keep Outperforming: Citi.)