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Apple's record setting iPhone 6s launch weekend impresses Wall Street

With more than 13 million units sold in the first three days of availability, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus exceeded most market expectations, and analysts responded on Monday by reacting favorably to the announcement from Apple.




Maynard Um of Wells Fargo issued a note to investors, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, in which he calculated that the iPhone 6s launch figures were up by units-per-country. Apple expanded launch availability to 12 countries this year, but the 13 million sales work out to 1.08 million units per country, compared to 1 million per country for last year's iPhone 6 debut.

To Um, the strong first-weekend sales of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus imply that December units will be up year over year, besting the first full quarter of the iPhone 6. Some on Wall Street had expressed concern that Apple may not be able to stimulate continued sales growth with this year's "S" upgrade cycle.

Wells Fargo has maintained its "outperform" rating with a "valuation range" of $125 to $135 for AAPL stock. The firm wasn't alone in heaping praise on Apple on Monday— joining with positive reactions were Piper Jaffray, FBR & Co., and RBC Capital Markets.

To analyst Daniel Ives, the 13 million sales achievement was a "bull case" number on Wall Street. He sees potential upside to Apple's December numbers, helping to lift what he called the "China iPhone black cloud" from over the company.

FBR continues to rate AAPL as "outperform" with a $175 price target.




And Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray noted that while the 6s is generally available in most Apple Stores he checked, while 6s Plus inventory is more constrained. Consumer demand for the rose gold model also appears to be high.

"Overall, we see opening weekend results, coupled with our read on sell-through, as a sign that the iPhone 6s cycle is off to a good start and continue to be comfortable with our 3% iPhone 6s cycle unit growth compared to the Street at flat," Munster wrote.

Piper Jaffray also advises investors to buy in to AAPL stock, with an "overweight" rating and price target of $172.

Despite the positive reaction, shares of Apple were down more than 1 percent in trading Monday afternoon, amid broader losses across the markets in the U.S.