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Goldman Sachs: New Macs position Apple well

Apple's latest Mac announcements pleased investors

Apple won't report its latest financial results until Thursday evening, but investment firm Goldman Sachs offered investors a first take following the conclusion of the Scary Fast event.

"In our view, the announcements made were largely in-line with press speculation going into the event and as a result, largely in-line with expectations," opined Goldman Sachs' Michael Ng and others.

The researchers said there were limited expectations about new Macs going into the holiday season. They noted that the refreshed M3 iMac is the first upgrade since 2021, and said that the new MacBook Pro models are available at "more attractive price points relative to the launch prices for those respective products."

"AAPL's refreshed Mac portfolio positions it well to capitalize on the industry PC recovery following declining shipments in the last 2 years (C2022-23) due to a normalization of the outsized demand in C2021. We're also encouraged by the potential channel fill benefits for F1Q24," Goldman Sachs wrote.

In mid-October, Goldman Sachs investment experts are encouraged about the improving PC market.

"PC channel inventories are healthier, though pricing likely will remain weak in the near-term against the backdrop of softer consumer spending and IT spending," they noted.

For future quarters, Goldman Sachs is "encouraged by the improving trends," with the expectation of industry shipments to grow by 6% in 2024 and 4% in 2025.

Goldman Sachs is more than just a passive watcher of AAPL stock, of course. While the company's equity and investment services happen independently of its credit concerns, the financial giant is also partnered with Apple for the Apple Card. Goldman Sachs issues the card, underwrites the loans and manages customer service for it.

It's a relationship that has recently been fraught with tension, as Goldman Sachs executives have expressed regret over the deal, which reportedly cost Goldman Sachs $1.2 billion in 2022 alone.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon recently told investors that the company's focus with the Apple Card and a similar financing arrangement with General Motors was "reducing the drag over the course of the next 12 to 24 months."

Goldman Sachs's 12-month target for AAPL stock price is $213, with a Buy rating. Other firms including Piper Sandler and Oppenheimer have lowered targets ahead of the Thursday earnings report. AAPL closed on Monday, October 30th at $170.29.