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Piper Jaffray Weighs in on Apple Inc (AAPL) Amid Augmented Reality Product Rumors

By Carly Forster

Analysts and investors alike have been gearing up for technology giant Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) “special event” on September 9, where the company is expected to reveal the new iPhone 6S. Additionally, rumors have been circulating that the company will announce a new product involving augmented reality.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in on Apple on August 31, maintaining an Overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $172 after speaking with industry contacts within the virtual and augmented reality spaces.

The analyst believes Apple is entering the augmented reality space “based on recent acquisitions of augmented reality companies, hiring of a key Microsoft Hololens employee, and conversations with industry contacts within the virtual and augmented reality spaces.” Although the analyst notes that augmented reality is “10 years away from broader consumer adoption,” Munster believes “it has the potential to be as profound a technology platform as the smartphone today.”

Munster acknowledges that “it is difficult to size the opportunity” augmented reality will have in the market since the theme is so new, but “Apple’s early involvement in the space suggests the company is preparing for the next evolution of computing.” Furthermore, the analyst believes “Apple’s evolving fashion advantage means that they can uniquely develop products that consumers will actually want vs prototype style offerings today.”

Gene Munster has rated Apple 148 times total since 2009, earning a 69% success rate recommending the company and a +27.1% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. Overall, he has a 62% success rate recommending stocks and a +21.5% average return per recommendation.

Out of 34 analysts polled by TipRanks within the past three months, 25 analysts are bullish on Apple, 8 are neutral, and 1 is bearish. The average 12-month price target for on the company is $148.86, marking a 31.4% potential upside from where the stock last closed.