Apple (AAPL - Get Report) analysts noted the lower-than-expected price points for both new iPhones and new services in the tech giant's annual launch event on Tuesday, with many saying they expected near-term earnings to increase slightly as a result.
Apple shares were rising 1.55% to 220.13 on Wednesday morning, after increasing 1.2% on Tuesday.
Apple announced the basic version of its iPhone 11 will be priced at $699, below the $750 charged for the current entry-level iPhone, the XR. Meanwhile, the starting price for the Apple TV+ streaming service will be $4.99 per month, lower than many analyst's expectations, and the service will be free for a year for users that also buy any new Apple device. Apple Arcade, the new gaming service, will cost $4.99 after a one-month free trial.
Here's what the analysts thought of the announcements:
Cowen, Outperform, Price Target $250
"We view the $4.99 pricing for the TV+ and Arcade subscriptions as a positive for driving incremental EPS growth in Services. iPhone 11 could remain the highest volume device given lower pricing, refreshed features while Pro could be gross margin accretive and offer a buffer for potential absorption of future US import tariffs. For 20-50 million TV+ and Arcade subs, we estimate $0.08-0.42 and $0.06-0.20 impact to fiscal year 2020 EPS."
- Krish Sankar
Goldman Sachs, Neutral, Price Target Lowered From $189 to $187
"Apple's big Fall event included a few important developments in our opinion. The first was a $50 price cut to newly named iPhone 11 without the 'XR' appended. We see this as possibly in part due to Huawei competitive intensity in China. We see the combination of a lower base model iPhone price and the dual camera system as likely to drive even more unit volume out of the higher priced Pro lineup. In terms of services we had expected TV+ to be provided as a free trial with device purchases but we did not expect that trial to extend as long as a full year. This longer trial period equates to an even smaller likely earning contribution than the 0.4% we currently calculate in fiscal year 2020. Apple Arcade was priced as expected and looks more interesting as a potential earnings driver but subscription interest from consumers is as yet unproven."
-- Rod Hall
Wedbush Securities, Outperform, Price Target $245
"The pricing of Apple's streaming TV service at $4.99 per month is a 'show stopper' and a major shot across the bow at the likes of Netflix and Disney among others. The Street was anticipating a $7.99-$9.99 price point as clearly Cupertino is looking for market share coming out of the gates with these surprising price points that we loudly applaud. In our opinion with an installed base of 900 million active iPhones worldwide we believe Cook & Co. have an opportunity to gain 100 million consumers on the streaming front in the next 3-4 years. With roughly 1/3 of the company's 900 million active iPhones globally currently in a 'window of an upgrade opportunity' over the next 12 to 18 months, Cook & Co. recognize this is a crucial product cycle on the horizon that we believe could translate into roughly 180 million iPhone units sold in FY20."
- Dan Ives
Morgan Stanley, Overweight, Price Target $247
"We see growth re-accelerating in fiscal year 2020 while new services and upcoming 5G cycle argue for multiple expansion. Net we forecast 3% revenue growth and 8% EPS growth in fiscal year 2020 after declines in 2019. We see both structural and product cycle drivers of multiple expansion. Apple's P/E multiple has expanded by just over 4 turns since 2012 as services tripled from 9% to 30% of gross profit dollars and we see further multiple expansion as services continue to outpace overall growth. What's more, Apple's P/E multiple typically expands several turns in the 9-12 months ahead of a major iPhone cycle.
- Katy Huberty