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02 Feb, Thursday
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Bull Trader USA

Analysts view Apple as a ‘safe haven’ and ‘bright spot’ in tech following another strong quarter

Apple ‘s quarterly results proved to analysts that the iPhone maker’s stock is the place to hide when a recession hits. The technology giant reported results after the bell Thursday that surpassed analysts’ estimates . Revenue for iPhone fell short of expectations but rose 10% year over year. Shares rose nearly 1% in premarket trading Friday. Wells Fargo’s Aaron Rakers called Apple the “bright spot amid mega-cap carnage” in a note to clients Thursday as the company shared “better-than-feared” results even in this troublesome macro environment. “Look past the FX headwinds and you’ll see why everyone is hiding in AAPL,” he said. Comments from analysts across the board seemed to echo Rakers’ opinions, with Piper Sandler’s Harsh Kumar calling Apple an “optimal place” to park during a recession. Credit Suisse’s Shannon Cross said the stock is a “safe haven” and “relatively safe port in the storm” in a note to clients Thursday. At the same time, the company continues to offer solid cash flows and recurring revenues. “While tonight’s results don’t settle the consumer debate, Apple remains best of breed, in our view,” wrote Morgan Stanley’s Erik Woodring in a note to clients, saying that the results underscore the “durability” of Apple’s offerings. He maintained the bank’s overweight rating on the stock, with its $177 price target suggesting shares can more than 22%. Expect dollar, macro headwinds to persist To be sure, Apple isn’t immune to the broader pressures pummeling other technology stocks despite delivering strong margins, said Bank of America’s Wamsi Mohan in a note to clients. “Although Apple’s performance is better than peers, we see slowdown related to weaker macro,” he wrote. The bank maintained its neutral rating on the stock, citing a slowdown in consumer spending and a strong dollar. JPMorgan Chase’s Samik Chatterjee said the results underscore Apple’s resilience and should further entice investors to buy the stock. That said, foreign exchange headwinds worsened in the fiscal fourth quarter and weighed heavily on the company’s services segment. He expects that trend to continue into the fiscal first quarter. Baird’s William Power echoed Chatterjee’s sentiment, lowering the firm’s revenue forecast to reflect this headwind, while Citi’s Jim Suva trimmed EPS expectations. “Amid a sea of large-cap earnings debacles, Apple’s results appear to be a relative victory,” wrote Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting

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