Skip to main content

Apple Stock: Will The Apple Car Be The Ultimate ‘Tesla Killer?’

Apple’s EV catalyst may help to boost returns in the long run. But in the near-term, it’s likely already priced into AAPL stock.

Last week, we broke down Apple stock AAPL and its metaverse catalyst. Specifically, why the tech giant’s move into AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) hardware may give shares only a slight boost, at best.

Now, let’s look at a potential catalyst that may be more of a needle-mover: the company’s Apple Car project. If its development and launch are successful, it’s not far-fetched to believe this fully autonomous electric vehicle (EV) could give top early-stage names in this space, like Lucid LCID and Rivian RIVN, a run for their money.

Figure 1: Apple Car prototype.

Figure 1: Apple Car prototype.

Not only that, but the Apple Car may also have a shot of grabbing substantial market share from current leader Tesla TSLA. However, before putting in a buy order, let’s take a closer look at this catalyst, and its potential near and long-term impact on Apple shares.

(Read more from the Apple Maven: On The Winter Solstice, AAPL Investors Hope The Darker Days Are Over)

AAPL Stock and its Apple Car Catalyst

Before diving in, here’s a brief overview of Apple and its EV project. For years, the company has been at work developing an electric vehicle.

Before, it was designing both a limited self-driving vehicle, as well as a fully self-driving vehicle. Working on both projects at the same time made sense. It would enable it to launch an EV before fully autonomous capabilities became available.

But now, with a new leader in charge of the project (Kevin Lynch), Apple is putting all its eggs in the fully autonomous basket. Speeding up its timeline, the company is targeting a 2025 release date for its fully autonomous EV.

Given its track record, there are high expectations that Apple will meet this deadline and bring out a possible “Tesla killer” in less than four years. However, that’s not to say it’s a foregone conclusion.

The Apple Maven’s Take

Unlike its metaverse catalyst, the Apple Car may offer a lot more upside potential. As Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty argued back in November, its launch of a fully self-driving EV could ultimately double both its revenue and market cap.

The sell-side analyst pointed to many factors to support her case — the company’s large customer base, for one. Also, there is Apple’s past success diving into uncharted territory. For example, the company was a latecomer to mobile communication devices when it launched the iPhone, but it currently holds 23% of the market and growing.

That said, while it has a strong chance of finding success, the Apple Car could still hiccup moving to the delivery stage. In fact, it’s already dealing with some hurdles right now, as seen from recent news of the project losing key engineers to rivals.

On top of this, with AAPL stock already trading at a stretched forward earnings multiple, this catalyst may already be factored into its valuation. Ms. Huberty sees EV as something that could one day double the share price. Still, her current price target of $200 per share is less than 20% above the $170 per share that AAPL trades for today — suggesting that much of the Apple Car upside to the stock may not come until beyond 2022.

Bottom line: the Apple Car may be something that helps the company and stock deliver solid long-term financial results and market gains, respectively. At the same time, it may fail to give shares a big jolt in the coming months.

(Read more from the Apple Maven: Apple Stock: 3 Key Facts Dip Buyers Must Know)

(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting the Apple Maven)