It's all over for Apple (NASDAQ:
One analyst doesn't think so. Walter Piecyck of
BTIG Research upgraded
the stock from "Neutral" to "Buy" with a $540 price target on
What's so significant about the call is that Piecyck was the
first to downgrade the stock and predict the drop that has sent
the stock tumbling.
"We believe the stock is reflecting low buy-side investor
expectations, even if the sell-side has not yet caught up with
their estimate revisions," Piecyk wrote in a research note.
"Apple will also benefit from a reversal of the impacts of the
tighter phone upgrade policies in the United States, its most
important market, and is likely to come to a decision on its cash
by the end of the month."
In the note, Piecyck notes that Apple will soon report
quarterly results, which will likely miss its guidance but could
also include guidance for the upcoming June quarter that is $5
billion below consensus.
Piecyck believes the company will announce a larger-screen
iPhone, a low-priced iPhone for emerging markets, and several, as
yet unknown products and services that will add $5 billion to
Apple's sales next year.
"We believe a product that addresses the more than 70% of
global wireless subscribers that are unsubsidized pre-paid is
necessary in order for Apple to grow its EPS next year."
Wall Street Journal
reports, this upgrade is speculative. Piecyk acknowledges that it
is based on the potential of "products and services that have not
yet been announced and more importantly, an expectation that the
management team will actually pursue them."
In other news that is making Apple executives nervous is the
company's toughest competitor, Samsung, announced the Galaxy S4
phone Thursday and has dominated headlines with tales of the
phone's numerous new features.
Features include Air Gestures and Air View, which allow the
user to control the phone without coming in contact with the
display. Then there's Drama Shot, a feature that shoots 12 photos
at once complete with a time-lapse of all the action in those
photos combined into one picture. Finally, the widely discussed
Smart Pause feature, which causes a playing video to pause if the
user looks away.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller was widely criticized for
his remarks to reporters Wednesday, where he dismissed Samsung
and slammed Google (NASDAQ:
) as a "fragmented" OS that doesn't deliver as good a user
experience as iOS
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