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Apple’s Mac Event: The Consensus Is Clearly Bullish

Apple’s last product launch event of the year was a success, according to most Wall Street analysts. Here is what investors should know.

As most readers know at this point, Apple unveiled a new set of MacBook Pro devices on Monday, October 18. The announcement came alongside the launch of new AirPods, HomePod mini and Apple Music Voice plan. The Apple Maven covered the keynote in real time.

Today, the Apple Maven looks at what Wall Street experts have been saying about Apple’s last product launch event of 2021. Spoiler alert: I think that the consensus is clearly bullish and supportive of an investment in Apple stock  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report.

Figure 1: The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chip.

Figure 1: The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chip.

(Read more from the Apple Maven: One More Reason To Buy Apple Stock Today)

Generally positive comments

As a quick recap, Apple is a Wall Street favorite. The stock commands a consensus “strong buy” rating from analysts based on 25 expert opinions. An average price target of about $170 per share points at upside potential of 14% from current levels. Only one very quiet analyst believes that Apple stock is a sell, and sees 40% downside risk.

Wedbush’s Dan Ives, the “bull of bulls” who spoke with the Apple Maven a couple of months ago, sounded unsurprisingly optimistic about the new product lineup. Upon confirming his buy rating and $185 price target, Dan offered the following commentary:

“These products add to the biggest hardware product cycle at Apple in roughly a decade and remains a major growth catalyst for the story heading into 2022.”

D.A. Davidson’s Tom Forte, another former colleague in my very early Wall Street days, brought up a few key takeaways that I very much agree with. According to him, Apple flexed its supply chain muscles by making the two new MacBook Pro models available for delivery in only a week – despite the current global logistics crisis. In addition, the Cupertino company was able to increase the price of the 16.2-inch device by $100 compared to last year’s model, in a display of pricing power.

Even analysts with a neutral rating on AAPL seemed impressed by Apple’s recent announcements. Bernestein’s Toni Sacconaghi is still not bullish on Apple stock, and he sees risks to Mac revenues in a post-pandemic environment. However, he also recognizes that “higher MacBook Pro prices could boost average selling prices for Macs by 5% or more.”

Bank of America’s Wamsi Mohan also maintained his neutral rating on Apple stock. Still, between words of caution, the analyst acknowledged that “the specs for the Macs are genuinely impressive.”

(Read more from the Apple Maven: Key Takeaways On Apple's Unleashed Event: Beyond Expectations)

The Apple Maven’s take

I have recently stated that, to succeed in the face of overwhelming Mac segment comps ahead, “the Cupertino company needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat – and perhaps last Monday’s event proved that Apple could do just that.” Looking around, Wall Street seems to agree with me.

AAPL share price strength could very well come from a renewed bullish stance by sell-side analysts, as sentiment improves further. I remain convinced that, due to a number of factors that also include stabilizing yields and lower volatility, Apple stock is ripe for a rally through the end of 2021.

Twitter speaks

Before Apple’s “Unleashed” event, I asked Twitter how important the announcements of the day would be for Apple stock. Below are the results. I invite you all to follow us on Twitter and participate in future polls!

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(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)