Why This Apple Analyst Says Fiscal 2021 Will Be 'Big Year' For iPhones

Apple Inc. AAPL reported stellar third-quarter results that propelled the stock to a record high. An analyst at Bernstein says further gains are in the offing for Cupertino. 

The Apple Analyst: Toni Sacconaghi maintained a Market Perform rating on Apple with a $400 price target. 

The Apple Thesis: Fscal year 2021 could be a big year for iPhones due to huge pent-up demand and the delayed launch of the new iPhone iteration, Sacconaghi said in a Monday note. (See his track record here.)

Each of the last two years saw materially weaker demand for iPhones, resulting in lower upgrade rates — and unlocking demand, the analyst said.

The new iPhone launch is now pushed out from the end of Apple's fiscal year 2020 to the beginning of fiscal year 2021, he said. 

Sacconaghi forecast iPhone unit shipments of about 230 million in fiscal 2021, with expectations for about 86 million to 87 million units to be shipped in the December quarter.

This would mean a 20% year-over-year increase in unit shipments, resulting in fiscal 2021 revenue and EPS that are well above the consensus, the analyst said.

Key questions that would reveal how healthy the iPhone uptake will be would be surround the issues of general economic health; the exact timing and availability of the four new iPhone models; and their average selling prices, he said. 

"We forecast EPS of $16, and note that getting north of $17 in EPS likely implies 250M+ iPhones, or a huge cycle, with upgrade rates approaching 2018 levels." 

AAPL Price Action: Apple shares were down 0.31% at $437.29 at last check Wednesday. 

Related Links:

Apple's Path To $2 Trillion Is Set As Wall Street Lauds Resilience, Ecosystem Engagement

Apple In The Crosshairs Of Chinese AI Firm's $1.4B Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Photo courtesy of Apple. 

Posted In: BernsteiniPhoneToni SacconaghiAnalyst ColorReiterationAnalyst RatingsTech

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