The market’s anticipation of strong sales via the fresh iPhones drove Apple shares much higher This kind of year, however today one Wall Street firm says optimism for big upside is actually not warranted.
Wells Fargo Securities reiterated its market perform rating on the tech giant’s stock, saying the latest China export data point to meager iPhone sales growth inside the December quarter.
“An analysis of China Province-level mobile phone export data This kind of week reinforces our cautious opinion on Apple’s iPhone cycle,” analyst Aaron Rakers wrote in a note to clients Wednesday entitled “iPhone-Related China Data Analysis: Implying Limited / No Yr/Yr Growth Thus Far In 4Q17.”
Rakers wrote of which his firm currently sees “limited/no upside potential to our 81.2M iPhone ship estimate.”
Apple is actually one of the market’s best-performing large-cap stocks of 2017, rallying 47 percent year to date through Wednesday versus the S&P 500’s 20 percent gain.
The analyst noted the combined October as well as November phone exports in key iPhone-related Chinese provinces of Henan, Shanghai, Shanxi as well as Jiangsu were up only 0.6 percent year over year. He also said November phone exports out of Zhengzhou Customs, the largest port for iPhone shipments, were up 17 percent year over year in dollars, however down 8 percent year over year in units.
Rakers reaffirmed his $195 cost target for Apple shares, which is actually 14 percent higher than Wednesday’s closing cost.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.