Apple Upgraded at Goldman; Ives Sees 'Tom Brady of Tech World'

Apple was upgraded by Goldman's Rod Hall after its report. And Dan Ives of Wedbush calls Cupertino 'the Tom Brady of the tech world.'
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report was the apple of analysts' eyes, with Goldman Sachs and a chorus of other investment firms upgrading or boosting their price targets for the computer giant following its blowout second-quarter results.

Shares of the Cupertino, Calif., company at last check were up 2.6%.

Apple on Wednesday after the market close posted much stronger-than-expected earnings and boosted its stock-buyback program by $90 billion.

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The results prompted Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall to upgrade Apple to neutral from sell and lift his price target to $130 from $83.

Hall, who'd kept the sell rating on Apple for more than a year, said in a research note that his original view that the iPhone cycle would disappoint in the midst of Covid "was clearly wrong." 

iPad demand is "so strong" that Apple says it will leave $3 billion to $4 billion of revenue on the table in fiscal Q3 ending June, Hall added. 

With "this kind of demand backlog and a very difficult reopening forecasting environment," Hall said he is moving to the sidelines on the stock.

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Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and the company delivered a "drop the mic" quarter. He raised his price target to $185 from $175 while affirming his outperform rating.

"We have seen many blowout quarters in our many years covering Apple, although last night's March quarter we would characterize as one for the record books in Cupertino," Ives said.

The analyst declared that "Apple absolutely crushed rising [Wall] Street expectations heading into the print across the board, with iPhone revenues beating by 17%+ in a jaw-dropping performance as the iPhone 12 supercycle is playing out before our [and Wall Street's] eyes."

Apple is "essentially the Tom Brady of the tech world," Ives said, referring to the veteran quarterback. "[The] skeptics will continue to say the best is in the rear-view mirror and the success is moderating, yet Brady just won his 7th Chip and Apple just reported its most robust quarter in roughly three years."

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JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee raised his price target on Apple to $165 from $150, while reiterating an overweight rating on the shares.

Chatterjee said Apple reported a "broad-based beat" across all segments, with iPhone revenue strength on 5G-led adoption and "rich mix"; Mac and iPad strength helped by consumer demand in the work-from-home environment, and services growth accelerating despite tough comparisons. 

Raymond James analyst Chris Caso raised his price target on Apple to $185 from $160 while keeping an outperform rating on the shares, The Fly reports.

Apple put up a solid report for March, as it caught up with iPhone demand that couldn't be fulfilled in December due to the later iPhone launch, Caso said. He said the Mac and iPad also delivered solid upside, driven by work- and learn-from-home trends.

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