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Apple Shares Gain On JPMorgan Price Target Boost Into Q3 Earnings

JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee boosted his price target on Apple to $425 per share heading into Thursday's third quarter earnings report, even as the bank removed the tech giant from its 'analyst focus list'.

Apple Inc.  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report shares extended gains Monday after analysts at JPMorgan boosted their price target and maintained an 'overweight' rating on the tech giant.

JPMorgan analysts Samik Chatterjee increased his price target on the stock by $60, to $425 per share, while holding his overweight rating on the world's most valuable tech group. However, Apple was removed from JPMorgan's 'analyst focus list" heading into the group's third quarter earnings report, which is slated for Thursday after the close of trading. 

Chatterjee argues that a third quarter earnings beat, as well as the upswing from the coming 5G rollout, are already priced into the stock, but still sees longer-term value linked to the group's services portfolio and the 'underappreciated leverage" of the shift to 'work from home' trends.

Apple shares were marked 1.9% higher in early trading following the JPMorgan price target boost to change hands at $378.25 per share, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 28%. 

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Apple will post earnings for the three months ending in June, its fiscal third quarter, on Thursday July 30, with analysts looking for a bottom line of $2 per share on sales of $51.5 billion, based on early Street estimates.

Apple beat Street estimates for both its top and bottom line over the second quarter, which ended in March, posting sales of $58.3 billion and earnings of $2.55 per share.

Apple said services revenues rose 17% to a record $13.3 billion as shelter-in-place orders attracted new subscribers to the group's suite of cloud-based offerings such as Apple Music and Apple Pay. 

However, it said a lack of near-term certainty has forced the group to start its second consecutive quarter without providing financial guidance to investors, although it did forecast a currency headwind of $1.5 billion.