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Apple Named BofA’s Top Pick Ahead of Key Earnings

Apple’s second-quarter results are scheduled for release next week, and BofA is largely positive on the prospects, with “services revenue growth and margins to remain strong.”

However, it cautioned that “the demand environment is weak and a lower guide for F2Q could influence a pullback in shares.”

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The company has a “rich catalyst path with defensive cash flows,” wrote analyst Wamsi Mohan, who has a buy rating and $225 price target on the stock.

Apple Inc. was named a top pick for 2024 at Bank of America on optimism over the iPhone maker’s upcoming results, as well as its longer-term prospects.

Apple’s shares rose 0.5% on Monday. The stock is coming off its lowest close in about a year, as well as a five-day drop of 6.5% that erased nearly $180 billion from its market capitalization. The stock is down 14% this year, making it one of the weakest performers among megacap technology companies.

The stock has been pressured by concerns over growth, especially for the iPhone in the key China market, as well as regulatory pressure and the lack of a strategy surrounding artificial intelligence.

Separately, Morgan Stanley trimmed its price target on the stock to $210 from $220 on Monday, expecting Apple to give a disappointing forecast when it reports

The iPhone maker resorted to uncommon January discounts in China to help sustain sales of its latest generation of devices. Its retail partners there also offered enticements, taking as much as $180 off the regular price.

Apple, once the world’s most valuable company, has seen its shares fall 14% this year, underperforming the overall market. Its market valuation is still $2.56 trillion, second only to Microsoft Corp.


Image: Apple