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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Announces Record Sales For New iPhones: Mixed Reactions from Analysts

By Kate George

On September 28, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced record sales for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. As per the company, it has set a new record by selling over 13 million of the new models within three days of the launch. Analysts Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray and Abhey Lamba of Mizuho Securities weighed in on Apple following the announcement.

Munster concluded that the iPhone 6S cycle is off to a good start. He said these figures were at the high end of his expected 12 to 13 million units sold. The analyst noted, “While units are up more than 30% from last years’ launch, we believe the organic unit number excluding China may be a more accurate indicator.” As per Munster, if 2 million units sold from China over the opening weekend, it would mean a year-over-year increase in organic units of 10% as opposed to the flat growth modeled by the Street. He added, “If the trend continues, we expect modest (around 3%) upside to iPhone units over the next year.” Munster maintained an overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $172.

Overall, Gene Munster has a 59% success rate recommending stocks and a +19.4% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

On the other hand, Lamba is not so satisfied with Apple’s performance. He’s maintained a “Neutral” rating on the stock and feels the sales do not appear as overwhelmingly positive.

Sharing the reasons for his disappointment, Lamba said, “The jump of 30% over the first weekend’s sales of the previous version would be a positive if it was a like for like comparison.” While Lamba is impressed with the unit volumes, he notes the increase comes from a larger initial distribution as compared to last year. This time, Apple made the new iPhones available in 12 regions, including China, as opposed to 10 last year. He concluded by saying, “We continue to view Apple as a strong franchise but reiterate that it could be tough for the company to post meaningful shipment growth in this cycle.”

Abhey Lamba has an overall success rate of 61% recommending stocks and a +7.3% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

Of all the 36 analysts polled by TipRanks who have recently rated the stock, 26 have rated Apple a Buy, 9 have rated it a Hold, and only 1 has given a Sell rating. The average price target for the stock, based on targets set by each of these analysts over the past 12 months, is $146.22. That’s a roughly 30% upside over present levels.