Move over, Netflix: Apple Inc. will be the best performing FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) stock in 2019, according to veteran analyst Gene Munster.
Apple will be rewarded in the coming year as investors focus more on revenue and earnings growth rather than iPhone unit sales, said Loup Ventures’ Munster, who has covered the company for more than a decade. The Cupertino, California-based company will also benefit from excitement about a network upgrade in the U.S. that could occur as soon as 2020.
With a few days to go in 2018, Apple is the second-worst performer in the group of large-cap internet and technology stocks. It’s been a year that saw the iPhone maker become the first to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization and then lose its crown as the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft Corp. Apple’s 7 percent decline trailed Facebook, whose stock has fallen 24 percent amid a slew of controversies. Netflix Inc. is up the most this year with a 32 percent gain, followed by Amazon.com Inc.’s 26 percent climb. Google parent Alphabet Inc. is off less than 1 percent.
Apple’s success in safeguarding consumer data could also help the company in 2019, according to Munster, who predicts U.S. lawmakers will pass data-privacy regulation. Munster expects Apple to spend $1.4 billion on original television content in 2019 and release a streaming service late in the year.
To be sure, Munster’s biggest prediction for 2018 — that Amazon would buy Target Corp. — hasn’t panned out.