While the iPhone is unquestionably the star of Apple's (AAPL) earnings, the services, Macs, iPads and other lines of business added to a strong fourth fiscal-quarter report that prompted many analysts to raise their price targets. Earnings of $2.07 per share topped forecasts of $1.87, while revenue of $52.58 billion exceeded the forecast of $50.69 billion. On Friday morning, Apple shares gained 2.7% to $172.62, an all-time high.
Here's what Apple analysts were saying about the impressive quarter:
Sherri Scribner, Deutsche Bank
Hold, $152 (up from $140)
"While the results were solid, we believe investors' main focus is on whether Apple can sell a $1,000 premium phone in significant quantities, something we won't have a good sense of until later this year, at the earliest. Until then, we expect bulls and bears to remain in their own camps, with this quarter's results unlikely to sway views."
Walt Piecyck, BTIG LLC
Buy, $198 (up from $184)
"Apple has accelerated revenue growth for the past four quarters, reaching 11% before the iPhone X has even launched. We increased our revenue growth expectations in 2018 to 11% from 7.6%, a critical milestone. Double digit revenue growth is an important hurdle for growth investors, and is typically rewarded with a higher valuation multiple."
Tim Long, BMO Capital Markets
Outperform, $195 (up from $180)
"We had lowered our September iPhone expectations to reflect iPhone X delays. Surprisingly, however, smartphone sales beat nicely on higher units although ASP was lower. We believe emerging markets like India drove high demand for lower-end models like the SE, independently of the refreshed portfolio."
Abhey Lamba, Mizuho Securities
"The company noted strong initial order activity for iPhone X (which began shipping today). Commentary indicated difficulty in projecting demand given that this is the first time that the company has three high-end devices for sale at the same time (in addition to a staggered launch that could drive some delay in purchasing decisions)."
Steven Milunovich, UBS
Buy, $190 (up from $180)
"There is new energy in the story given the feature leap in iPhone 10, improving results for the Mac and iPad, and outstanding services and wearables results. Growth in Greater China (including services) is important with China a swing factor in F18."
Ben Schachter, Macquarie Capital
"iPhone was not the stand-out in terms of outperformance as Services, Mac, iPad, and Wearables all drove upside. This broad foundation combined with the iPhone X allowed the company to guide Dec above expectation. Apple is simply delivering across-the-board."
Michael Walkley, CanaccordGenuity
Buy, $195 (up from $180)
"Tim Cook noted each week iPhone X unit production is improving and we expect a strong mix of iPhone 8 Plus models and iPhone X to drive strong ASP trends through C2018. ... We believe Apple continues to grow its leading market share of the premium-tier smartphone market with double digit growth of its installed base during the quarter and believe the iPhone installed base will exceed 635M exiting C2017."
Andy Hargreaves, KeyBanc Capital Markets
Overweight, $192 (up from $187)
"We believe the potential for upside to gross margins and strong normalized demand for iPhone X could drive upside to our estimates and price target. Conversely, we see the biggest risk to the shares in the potential for normalized iPhone X demand to miss expectations, as this would likely damage investor perception of Apple's pricing power, which we view as essential to driving multiyear earnings growth."
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