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Stifel: Chinese Macro Data May Point To iPhone Upside

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Stifel: Chinese Macro Data May Point To iPhone Upside

Aaron Rakers of Stifel commented in a note on Monday that various macro data points favor Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone sales heading in to 2015.

“As we continue to track a number of derivative data points related to Apple's potential iPhone shipment level in the December quarter, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the export/import data we have been tracking – some of which has historically shown a strong correlation to Apple's quarterly iPhone shipments,” Rakers wrote. The analyst adds that Apple has likely seen a “significant” increase in manufacturing for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Rakers notes that China Exports of Handheld Wireless Telephones and Parts rose eight percent, 42 percent and 13 percent year over year in September, October and November, respectively. The analyst adds that exports has historically shown a 91.6 percent correlation with Apple's quarterly iPhone shipments.

In addition, the Henan Province (city of Zhengzhou) mobile telephone output in terms of units for September through November increased by 34 percent year-over-year to approximately 45.7 million unites. Rakers states that in early-September, industry reports suggested that the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou would manufacture as much as two-thirds of the iPhone volumes. The analyst adds that output out of Henan has shown a 89.3 percent correlation with iPhone shipments.

Shares are Buy rated with a $130 price target.

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