When Apple (AAPL) reported fiscal Q3 2021 earnings late last month, it delivered one of its biggest earnings beats in recent memory. Instead of the $1.01 per share that analysts had forecast, Apple earned a solid $1.30, an "earnings beat" of 29% -- but one analyst thinks that could be only the beginning.
JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee added $5 to his price target on Apple stock -- now at $180 a share, ~20% above current prices -- and reiterated an "overweight" rating on the shares to boot. (To watch Chatterjee's track record, click here)
Investors, says Chatterjee, have "low expectations" for both iPhone sales and total revenue in the coming fiscal year 2022 (now less than three months away), but the 5-star analyst sees "multiple catalysts" into the back end of this year (so Q1 of fiscal 2022) that could change that calculus.
Which catalysts, you ask? Well, "the upcoming iPhone 13 launch," for one, which Chatterjee sees helping to push calendar year 2022 iPhone sales up to 246 million units (equal to projected 2021 sales).
According to Chatterjee, upgrades to iPhone 13 probably won't be as strong as upgrades to iPhone 12 were. However, the analyst forecasts "higher volumes for the lower-ASP, but 5G enabled iPhone SE to be launched in CY22," which could boost the total number of iPhone units sold higher regardless, "and provide upside [to consensus estimates] through the upgrade of a large installed base that is looking for a more affordable 5G device."
In Chatterjee's opinion, this surge in sales of iPhones of all stripes implies 2% more revenue and 7% more profits in fiscal 2022 than the rest of Wall Street is expecting. And he explains his above-consensus numbers by saying the market for 5G-capable iPhone SE phones is an "underappreciated driver" of both iPhone sales in general, and of revenues and profits for Apple.
Speaking of which, here's a quick scan of what Chatterjee sees happening with Apple's revenues and profits over the next couple-few years: Apple will round out fiscal 2021 with sales of $367.2 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $5.63. In fiscal 2022, sales will grow 5% to $385.5 billion, followed by nearly 7% growth in fiscal 2023 to $412 billion. Earnings, however, will grow faster, bolstered by both "better execution on the product cycle" and increasing sales of high margin services. Chatterjee forecasts that adjusted earnings will grow just under 7% in fiscal 2022 to $6 per share, followed by better than 9% growth to $6.55 per share in fiscal 2023.
Overall, with 26 analyst reviews on record, split into 19 Buys, 5 Holds, and 2 Sells, AAPL has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The shares are priced at $150.38 and their $162.32 average price target suggests ~8% upside from that level. (See AAPL stock analysis on TipRanks)
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