Apple Inc.’s iPhone business looks to be a portrait of resilience, according to numerous analysts, as the company indicated late Thursday that macroeconomic pressures had yet to dampen demand for its smartphones.
The company posted better-than-expected results for its latest quarter, highlighted by a big beat in the iPhone segment that helped outweigh a sizable miss in Mac revenue amid steep supply pressures. Apple
shares were up more than 2% in premarket trading Friday.
“Amid a great deal of uncertainty and investor concerns over softening consumer spending, Apple delivered what we would consider positive results and forward outlook,” wrote Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers. “Most notably, Apple did not see any macro-driven demand slowdown for iPhones, but is seeing some impact to the wearables segment & some services (digital advertising).”
Rakers was upbeat about Apple’s continued ability to steer through the macro storm, writing that while the company faces “considerable challenges” from foreign-exchange pressures and economic trends, its results showed “resiliency” and the company should be able to do better than the PC and smartphone markets more generally, “while also supporting shares through significant capital return.”
He rates the stock at overweight with a $185 price target.
Cowen & Co. analyst Krish Sankar also saw Apple’s commentary as indicative that “premium demand” is “resilient,” though he said he would be taking a measured approach to his own forecasting.
“While we believe AAPL is navigating the environment in an exemplary manner (supply chain management, cost controls, strong capital returns), we continue to model [near-term] demand conservatively given macro slowing, ongoing war in Ukraine, and potential for more movement restrictions in China,” he wrote in his note to clients.
Sankar has an outperform rating and $200 price target on Apple shares.
Oppenheimer’s Martin Yang saw many positive signs in the Thursday report, including management’s callouts of strong performance in Indonesia, India, and Vietnam, as well as a record number of people switching over to iPhones.
“Apple’s outperformance relative to peers continues to impress,” he wrote in a note to clients titled: “iPhone Resilience Defying Macro Challenges, Growth in India Should Not Be Overlooked.”
Yang has an outperform rating on Apple’s stock and kept his price target at $190.
Citi Research analyst Jim Suva also cheered the company’s “great results,” while saying that he still sees numerous reasons for investors to buy Apple’s shares.
“While investors were concerned about the general slowdown in consumer spending, Apple posted an all-time high over 1.8 billion installed base, which sets up well for future services sales, upgrades and replacements,” he wrote in a note to clients.
Suva is upbeat about a “mix shift” that “continues to skew away from lower priced Android phones towards more mid end and premium pricing products.” He also noted that Apple’s roughly $90 billion buyback “lends support to shares.”
Apple executives said in late April that they were adding $90 billion to the company’s share-repurchase authorization, as they also increased Apple’s dividend by 5%.
Citi’s Suva has a buy rating on Apple’s stock, and he boosted his price target to $185 from $175.
Shares of Apple have fallen 3.8% over the past three months, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has lost 1.4%.