How Will Apple (AAPL) Stock Be Affected By This Analyst Upgrade?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple Inc.  (AAPL) are up 0.98% to $96.15 in pre-market trade as Barclays (BCS) upgrades the company to "overweight" from "equal weight" with a $110 price target.

The firm said: "A move is needed given a few big changes since March vs. our expectations. We believe Tim Cook has solidified his strategy and re-gained the confidence of Apple stakeholders in many ways - reversing many of the warning signs we saw earlier in the year.

"Second, Samsung's weakness creates a large unforeseen buffer.

"Third, our checks around new products (builds, demand & quality) into 2015 are so strong, we are compelled to get on board even if its midway through the rebound trade. Even the March and June upside we have seen change the outcomes for iPhone's."

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Barclays said its new 2014 EPS is $6.36 based on 7% revenue growth to $183.4 billion.

"Our 2015 EPS estimate is $7.10 based on 13% revenue growth to $207.2 billion. Our 2016 EPS estimate is $7.63 based on 4% revenue growth to $215.89 billion," BCS said in its note.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AAPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.32, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 43.45% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.39% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $13,538.00 million or 8.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, APPLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.42%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report

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