Apple Inc. shares were, once again, crushed in early trading on Wednesday, even after Gene Munster, who covers the firm for Piper Jaffray, put out a bullish report on the firm. Mr. Munster’s report focused on the sales forecast in the US as carriers change their pricing model. Wall Street is, it seems, much more concerned about China’s economy than US carriers.
Mr. Munster said that the way in which US carriers are changing the way they charge their customers could “result in a compressed upgrade window for some iPhone users.” He thinks that could mean a higher sales rate for Apple in the US in the short run, even as the market becomes almost full with smartphones made by Cupertino.
Munsters sees more iPhone sales ahead
Munster’s hopeful outlook in the US market hasn’t made Wall Street feel better about Apple , but it’s worth taking a look at. The Piper Jaffray analyst says that the installment pricing models that are becoming more common in the US are going to be good for Apple despite the risks that shook the firm back in 2012.
When rumors that wireless firms in the US were looking to cut subsidies for the iPhone three years ago, the firm’s stock was shaken. Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, in a report published on Monday, said that that wasn’t likely to happen again.
The installment plans allow users to upgrade their phones early, something that could be a boon to Apple’s iPhone 7 sales. Munster said those “customers on installment plans in Q3 and Q4 of 2014 are potential early upgrade customers.”
Munster put a $172 price target on Apple shares, and kept hit Overweight rating on the stock. Wall Street simply wasn’t ready to listen to him on Wednesday morning.
Apple shares crushed by China
Tuesday’s market roiled after China revealed that it was going to let the Yuan slip against the dollar. the move is set to drive up the costs of buying the iPhone in China, and hurt Apple margins in the country. Fears that the country’s economy is crumbling are also leading to forecasts of much lower growth for the firm going forward.
At time of writing shares in Apple were selling for $110.81, down 2.36 percent for the day so far. Shares are now trading at levels not seen since last January.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Alberto Moel told Bloomberg on Tuesday that Apple’s loss would be a net gain to those that make parts for the iPhone. “Assuming that revenue doesn’t change and suppliers don’t have to pass the benefits on to Apple, the yuan cut should boost margins for the suppliers,” he said.
Huberty, in her report, said that the problems in China will affect Apple, “but we’d highlight smartphones over $300 taking share as a sign Apple is converting previously mid-market smartphone purchasers to their platform.”
Mr. Munster’s ideas about the future of the iPhone market in the US may give some welcome relief to those worried about Apple’s iPhone sales across the board, but it seems that the risks in China are far more weighty in the eyes of the market on Wednesday.