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What to Do With Apple ETFs After Icahn Has Left?

Has the land where Apple Inc. (AAPL) grows gone barren?

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, a long-time believer in Apple’s fair valuation, has finally left Apple. And why not? After all, the tech giant jolted the investing world with its worst fiscal second-quarter results on April 26 (read: Tech ETFs in Trouble Post Rotten Q2 Apple Results).

Apple reported its first quarterly revenue drop in 13 years and the first-ever decline in iPhone sales. Moreover, the company posted lower-than-expected earnings and revenues in Q2. Apart from Japan, most of the geographical regions it covers recoded a decline in sales.

Additionally, the company provided a soft outlook for the third quarter given perpetual macroeconomic headwinds and demand woes. As a result, Apple’s stock got thrashed post release and market capitalization has plunged by about $40 billion.

Icahn Theory

All these data explains why Icahn, who first revealed his position in Apple Inc. almost three years ago, divested his stake in it lately. However, Icahn – who has long been vocal on dramatic undervaluation of Apple shares – noted that it is China that caused him to exit this "great company".

Icahn finds Apple’s relationship with China risky. China recently abandoned Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services, pointing to the company’s non-conformity to Chinese regulators, as per Bloomberg.  Notably, Apple revenues plummeted around 26% year over year in the Greater China region in Q2.

Last May, Icahn said that Apple’s shares should be worth $240 a share, which was 85% higher than what it was then. His optimism was intact even in the second half of 2015. Icahn talked about the undervalued status of Apple shares in August 2013 and October 2014. But at the current level, Apple shares are trading at $93.74 (as of April 29, 2016) with a market cap of $513.45 billion.

Talking about market capitalization, investors should note that Apple became the first U.S. company to attain a market cap of above $700 billion at the close of trading on February 10, 2015.

Do You Follow Icahn?

Investors should note that the AAPL stock resides in the top 43% of the Zacks Industry Rank, it has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). It has a great Zacks Style Value score of “A”, though the Growth and Momentum scores are “D” each. Its overall VGM score is “B” at the time of writing.

The tech behemoth boasts return on equity of 40.2%, higher than the industry average of 33.4%. Though its P/E F1 is at 11.1x, at a 3.5% discount to the industry average, Apple shares currently have a P/B 3.9x, which is a 62.5% premium to the industry average. Its price-to-sales ratio stands at 2.3x, reflecting a 53.3% premium to the industry average.

So, all in all, Apples shares are neither damn cheap nor pricey. At the current level, investors may remain on the sidelines and see how Apples shares move ahead or how its relationship with China shapes up (which is in fact the key concern of Icahn).

Else, investors, mad about Apple but wary of the recent pricing crash, can target investing in Apple ETFs that give exposure to the entire technology sector. The ETF route helps investors to mitigate one company’s average performance with the other companies’ stellar results. This way, you can be in touch with Apple while limiting downside risks considerably (read: Take a Bite into Apple with these Tech ETFs).  

Apple ETFs in Focus

iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW)

Apple takes about 16% of its assets. IYW has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.

Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF (XLK)

AAPL takes the top spot, making up roughly 13.2% of the assets. XLK has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 with a Medium risk outlook.

Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT)

The fund puts 13.8% weight in Apple. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a moderate risk outlook (see: all the Technology ETFs here).

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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ISHARS-US TECH (IYW): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR-TECH SELS (XLK): ETF Research Reports
 
VIPERS-INFO TEC (VGT): ETF Research Reports
 
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