- Wedbush and Loup Ventures set new price targets for Apple stock- $350 and $400 respectively, while stock price reaches a new record of $289.8, only 20 cents below IKF’s analyst’s price target.
- A new report suggests that Apple is negotiating terms to purchase an LCD screens plant from its cash-strapped supplier Japan Displays.
- The Zigbee Alliance, a joint venture between Apple and other Smart Home market leaders, announced the forming of a working group that will develop a new connectivity standard for Smart Home products.
Bullish Projections for 2020 Published by Wedbush Securities and Loup Ventures
On December 23, Investment firm Wedbush Securities lifted the price target for Apple stock from $325 to $350. Wedbush’s valuation is based on the belief that the emerging of 5G technology will boost iPhone upgrades next year. Wedbush’s analyst Daniel Ives predicts that around 200 million iPhones owners will choose to upgrade to the new 5G iPhone, which is scheduled to launch during the second half of 2020. Given such an increase in customer upgrades, Apple could experience high 2-digit growth in the iPhone segment revenue, which declined 14.6% during fiscal 2019.
Another bullish note was published on December 27 by the venture capital firm Loup Ventures. The firm’s analyst Gene Munster relies on the potential customer excitement over the 5G iPhone. In addition, Munster expects continued growth in the wearables segment, given the popularity of Apple products like the Apple Watch and the AirPods Pro. Munster also noted that a valuation of $350 per share is achievable in 2020, and a $400 share price will be within reach during 2021. In addition, the firm expects Apple to be the top-performing FAANG stock in 2020 (compared to Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google).
Those new price targets are consistent with the recent trend of bullish outlooks that reflected in various price target revisions made by major financial institutions. Since Apple’s 2019Q4 earnings report was released at the end of October, six financial institutions (Among them, 3 top investment banks: Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Bank of America) lifted their price target for Apple stock. Most of those revisions were based on analysis’ that highlighted the same growth drivers: 5G technology and high demand for Apple wearables.
On November 21, I Know First published a bullish forecast for apple stock generated by its algorithm, with a high signal of 242.9 for the 12-month time horizon. The forecast was published together with the analysis report by senior analyst Motek Moyen, with a price target of $290. The forecast, together with the Moyen’s analysis, successfully predicted the stock price movement, before most of the price revisions mentioned above were made (except Morgan Stanley’s price target that was published on November 20). When the algorithm’s forecast and the analysis report were published, Apple stock price was $263.19. As of today, the price rose 10.11% to $289.8 – only 20 cents below Moyen’s price target.
Apple in Talks to Buy Japan Display’s Smartphone Screen Plant
A report from December 27 suggests that both Apple and Sharp are negotiating a deal to buy a smartphone screen plant located in Hakusan City from the struggling Japanize firm Japan Display. The company is a supplier of phone screens to both Apple and Sharp. It’s reported that the Tokyo-based company owes more than $800 million to Apple, that funded nearly half of the plant construction costs. Japan Display’s financial struggle started after most of the mobile industry abandoned LCD panels for the new OLED panels, which feature better color accuracy and efficiency. Nikkei reports that Apple could acquire the plant for $730- $820, approximately half of the initial investment.
Apple Joins Forces with Smart Home Market Leaders to Develop IP-Based Connectivity Standard
On December 18, 2019 the Zigbee Alliance announced a new working group, that will develop and promote adoption of new, royalty-free connectivity standards to increase compatibility among smart home products. This collaboration will focus on the Connected Home over IP project. The project’s main objective is to develop a unified connectivity protocol that will enable more efficient development for manufactures and at the same time a better communication among devices that will increase compatibility for consumers.
The Zigbee Alliance is a cooperation between leaders in the Smart Home market, such as Apple, Google, Amazon and Samsung, together with more than 500 different companies that seek to develop and maintain the ZigBee standard, which enables close-proximity devices to communicate with each other in a secure way. The new project could be an important step toward the enhancement of Smart Home services and the fulfillment of the Smart Home market potential.