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Apple Added to J.P. Morgan Top-Pick List With Higher Price Target

J.P. Morgan added Apple to its Focus List of top picks and lifted its price target on the tech giant's shares.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report was added to J.P. Morgan's Focus List of top picks and the firm's analysts lifted their share-price target for the consumer-electronics giant to $350 from $335.

The investment firm affirmed an overweight rating on the Cupertino, Calif., company's stock.

Apple shares dipped in after-hours trading Thursday, as it refrained from issuing guidance for the current quarter amid the uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The company beat analyst estimates for the previous quarter on both revenue and profit.

As for the J.P. Morgan analysts, led by Samik Chatterjee, they added Apple to J.P. Morgan's Analyst Focus List as a top pick in their coverage area.

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They wrote in a report that Apple’s stock should gain from investor positioning for the ramp-up of 5G service, increasing confidence in Apple’s services, and "cycling past the overhang" from the uncertainty over earnings guidance, The Fly reports.

Apple also should benefit from stronger-than-anticipated sales for the iPhones launched in September 2019 and buoyant sales in the second half of April thanks to the iPhone SE launch and government stimulus, the analysts said.

And the company stands to gain from its "underappreciated leverage" related to work-at-home and online learning trends, they said. Those trends are boosting iPad and Mac sales, the analysts said.

They also pointed to Apple’s strong balance sheet, which enabled it to provide a 6% dividend increase and a $50 billion addition to its share buyback in the latest quarter, Seeking Alpha reports.

Apple shares recently traded off 1% near $291. The stock has slipped 5% in the past three months, compared with a 10% fall for the S&P 500.