Apple to eclipse low investor confidence in iPhone growth, analyst says

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Apple remains a top pick for investment bank JP Morgan, which expects the company to exceed low investor expectations in iPhone and services growth.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee outlined the banks ranking of stocks across its coverage universe. The rankings are based on themes that investors are focused on, as well as drivers specific to certain companies.

For JP Morgan, Apple remains in first place. Chatterjee says that Apple's iPhone 13 sales volumes are likely to exceed low investor expectations for the cycle. Additionally, he expects services growth to remain robust — with growth in the 20% to 25% range.

There's a "limited preference" among investors for Apple, Qualcomm, and other 5G-related brands, Chatterjee says. However, the analyst maintains his overweight rating on Apple and says the Cupertino tech giant remains a top pick on confidence "into another record year of 5G device upgrades."

Other companies in JP Morgan's ranking include Dell in second place, Cisco in third, and F5 Networks and Arista in fourth and fifth. Qualcomm came in tenth, and was the only other smartphone-related brand besides Apple to break into the top 10.

Counterintuitively, Chatterjee says that investor preferences are now switching away from 5G device companies and toward 5G infrastructure and networking firms. However, the analyst still believes that Apple is well-positioned to eclipse consensus forecasts.

Chatterjee maintains his 12-month Apple price target of $180, which is based on a 30x price-to-earnings multiple on JP Morgan's 2022 earnings estimate of $6.12.