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Apple Earnings -- 3 Keys to the Tech Behemoth's Report

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It's that time again. 

Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report reports third quarter earnings Tuesday, and there are three keys an investor should watch for in deciphering the direction of the company. 

China iPhone Sales

iPhone sales in the region have been falling in the last several quarters, as Apple gets hit with the double whammy of waning smartphone demand and intensifying competition from Huawei and Samsung (SSNLF)  and other players. 

Some analysts think there will be a rebound in iPhone sales in the region, while others see those sales staying stuck at the low growth levels they've been. 

Services Acceleration

The Street forecasts a 15% year-over-year growth rate for the segment, which would mark another deceleration in the unit for Apple. But Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty sees services accelerating 19.5%, which would mark the first quarter since March of 2018 that Apple saw an acceleration in services. If investors were to appreciate the bull thesis on services, the multiple on the stock would likely go considerably higher, and so would the stock. Currently, the bull thesis on services is slightly under-appreciated. 

The Stock

The stock has roared 32% year-to-date, but the gains may not be over. some analysts have price targets in the $240's range, suggesting more meaningful upside. Services are a considerable part of those valuations. 

Related. Fed Will Take Bite Out of Apple's Impact on Market

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