FBR Capital sees 'golden buying opportunity' in Apple stock, maintains $175 target
Investors would be wise to take advantage of recent losses in Apple's share price, FBR Capital Markets said on Thursday, predicting that another major growth cycle is on the horizon for the iPhone maker.
Shares of Apple are down about 12 percent since the company reported its June quarter results. To analyst Daniel Ives, that has created a "golden buying opportunity" for investors.
In a research note published on Thursday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, Ives reiterated his "outperform" rating and price target of $175. He characterized Apple's record June quarter, which fell short of lofty Wall Street expectations, as a "B-plus," and compared it to concerns investors had with the iPhone 5 product cycle.
"We are seeing the forest through the trees, as we believed the unrivaled fundamental strength behind the company's iPhone 6 product cycle (less than 30% of customers have upgraded to date), a massive greenfield China market opportunity, and a host of growing new products/services (e.g., Apple Music, streaming TV possible later this fall, Apple Pay) are setting the stage for the company's next big leg of growth," Ives wrote.
Shares of AAPL stock fell below their 200-day moving average earlier this week, the first time they had done so since September of 2013.
In addition to selling fewer iPhones than expected in its June quarter, Apple also faces scrutiny over its anticipated forthcoming "iPhone 6s" series, and tough comparisons from the iPhone 6 launch in 2014. But to Ives, many users have yet to upgrade to the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, presenting huge potential for this year's presumed "S" upgrade.
There's also been concern that the Chinese market could prove soft for Apple, especially in the face of low-cost competitors like Xiaomi and Huawei. However, Ives believes Apple will maintain its "white-hot momentum" there, too.
RBC Capital Markets also reiterated its support of Apple stock earlier this week, maintaining a $150 price target and "outperform rating. Analyst Amit Daryanani cited Apple's $21.7 billion in purchase commitments as of June 2015 as a sign of a huge fall for the company.
Not all investment banks have remained steadfast in their support of AAPL, however. Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Apple stock to neutral on Wednesday, and lowered its price target from $142 to $130, citing expectations for decelerating iPhone sales and slower gains in China.