Apple analysts grow optimistic on 5G

Apple Inc. analysts have grown more positive on the company’s prospects, pointing to the upcoming launch of a 5G version of the iPhone, as well as continued growth in its services business.

The stock has been in a strong uptrend for weeks, gaining nearly 60% off a March low and closing Wednesday at record levels. The gains have given Apple a market capitalization above $1.5 trillion, making it the largest U.S. stock.

BofA on Thursday raised its price target to a Street-high view of $390, from $340, and reiterated its buy rating. Analyst Wamsi Mohan expects product revenue “will grow 20% next year from iPhone and wearables,” and touted the company’s “continued penetration into [its] installed base, large net cash, and continued strong capital returns.”

Shares of Apple dipped 1.5% in premarket trading on Thursday. This follows a four-day advance of more than 9%.

Earlier, Wells Fargo Securities raised its own price target, writing that data for China mobile phone registrations pointed to a “solid post-COVID recovery.” The firm reiterated its overweight rating, expecting investors will continue to view Apple “as a favored high-quality large cap name,” especially given the anticipated 5G iPhone.

Also on Thursday, HSBC upgraded its view on Apple to hold, removing one of the rare sell-equivalent ratings on the stock. The firm expects to see a “successful” 5G iPhone launch in the third quarter of 2020, and also noted growth in Apple’s services business.

Currently, 29 of the firms tracked by Bloomberg have the equivalent of a buy rating on Apple’s stock, compared with 12 with a hold rating. Just four advocate selling the stock. The average price target is about $323, up from roughly $305 at the end of April, although the current average is below Apple’s most recent close of $352.84.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple was preparing to shift to its own main processors in Mac computers, replacing Intel chips, a move Evercore ISI wrote could lead to “sustained” margin improvement.

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Apple analysts grow optimistic on 5G