Technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
added nearly 2% in premarket trading after numbers emerged about the release of its next-generation iPhone set to hit stores this September. So far, that momentum has continued into this morning's session too. Plans to make the new iPhone easier to get a hold of once it releases, thanks to a new option for customers, likely also helped. Meanwhile, financial analysts are frantically urging investors to buy in on Apple, and the picture looks even more bullish than it did in previous months.
Apple Stock Jumps With More iPhones on Hand, More Ways to Get One
The release of the iPhone 12 Pro wasn't exactly a bell-ringer, being as it came out in a time when many Apple Store locations were closed and a pandemic was already in progress. However, the latest reports about the iPhone 13 suggest that Apple plans to make up for lost time and in a very big way.
The latest word notes that Apple has turned to its supplies and asked them to ramp up production, hard. While the iPhone 12 series offered 75 million units total, Apple is looking to get 90 million units for the iPhone 13 through the end of 2021. Apple is looking to return to form with the iPhone 13, reports note, making this look like a pre-pandemic release in every sense of the term. The new iPhone will receive a September announcement, reports note, and will come in the same four sizes as the current roster. In-display Touch ID is out of the picture for this model, and camera upgrades will focus mainly on video, with an improved optical zoom.
Those who want to get their hands on one, meanwhile, will have an easier time of it. Not only will there be more units available, but Apple got together with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to create the Apple Pay Later plan, a plan that allows consumers to pay for an Apple Pay purchase—including a new iPhone—in installments over a length of time. This allows Apple to better compete with similar payment services offered by competitors, including PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). Apple and Goldman Sachs have been working together for some time now, as both firms partnered to produce the Apple Card credit card. An Apple Card won't be required to get in on the Apple Pay Later plan, however.
Apple is also looking to augment its streaming options. Reports suggest that Apple is considering buying A24 Studios. The pair have worked together several times in the past, and A24 is known for a range of titles including recent horror release “Hereditary” and upcoming fantasy action film “The Green Knight.” Apple also reportedly has its eye on Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine, either or both of which would give Apple's Apple TV+ more material to show.
What Are Financial Analysts Saying About AAPL Stock?
Those looking to buy Apple stock will find themselves in excellent company. Financial analysts, as based on our latest research, are overwhelmingly in favor of buying Apple. Apple is currently rated a consensus “buy”, and has held that rating for better than the last two years.
A year ago, Apple had 30 “buy” ratings to its credit, along with 12 “hold” and two “sell”. Six months ago, that shifted to 28 “buy” ratings, along with 12 “hold” and three “sell.” Today, we stand at 26 “buy” ratings, but also six “hold” and two “sell.” The steady loss in “buy” support might be concerning to some, but the fact that “hold” pressure is dropping like a rock should make up for that. The steady but proportionally tiny “sell” pressure, meanwhile, is worth noting, but not by much. The overall Apple stock forecast looks solid thanks to a range of measures.
Apple stock price targets, meanwhile, occupy a fairly broad range. The current consensus target is $149.67, with a high of $185 and a low of $66.60. The low goes back to Macquarie's target from September 2020, so it's a bit stale. With Apple currently trading around $148, there's still some upside potential based on the latest targets.
Recent movement for Apple has been almost universally positive. One analyst has downgraded the company so far this year, and that was New Street Research dialing back from “neutral” to “sell” back in May. Fundamental Research lowered its price target, but only slightly, going from $148.12 to $144.27. Barclays did similar, dropping from $138 to $134. Around 15 analysts, meanwhile, have raised their price targets on Apple this year.
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