Bear Stearns analysts Andy Neff, Bill Hand and Ted Chung sent a note to clients this morning following Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcement of a new developers' platform for the iPhone. Key excerpts:
WHY NOW? EIGHT COMPELLING REASONS. Despite current anxiety, we view current weakness in AAPL shares as an opportunity to add to positions based on our assessment of several positive inflection points:
1. WIDgets. With iPhone SDK launch today (3/6), AAPL further extended its lead in the emerging WIDget (Wireless Internet Devices: GPS, email, TV/video, social) market. Making media content portable is a 200mm unit (annual) market; making phones portable is over a 1bn unit market. WIDgets is somewhere in between.
2. VIDEO. Going forward it's not about music: it's about video. All the pieces are falling into place: AppleTV, video content, video rentals. Think non-linearly about an Apple TV-based HDTV.
3. INTERNATIONAL AT INFLECTION POINT. While Apple generates ~60% of sales from Americas, recent unit data points to acceleration in Europe, Japan & Asia.
4. MORE iPHONE MODELS, FEATURES. We expect to see more iPhone models (a la iPod), including 3G along with new features/apps in the coming months.
5. MAC MOMENTUM. With competitively priced products and growing mind share, we see continued momentum in Mac sales.
6. NEW iPOD DEMAND. It's no longer just about music, but it's about video & Internet access.
7. AND IT'S ALL SHIPPING. Three concurrent product cycles: Mac, iPhone, iPods with video coming on.
8. NOT ON HYPE-DRIVEN VALUATION. And the valuation (selling at 14x our CY09 op. EPS or 13x our CY09 cash EPS) is more reasonable.
· SEVERAL RISKS: Consumer spending particularly in the US/Europe (85% of sales). No single catalyst. Business model gets more complex with size. Are they innovating fast enough? Are they innovating too fast? Where are all those iPhones? Can AAPL keep beating expectations?
· NO EST CHANGES. We're maintaining our (reported) GAAP EPS for FY08 of $5.10, for FY09 of $6.50 and for 2Q08 of $1.08 (vs. $0.87).
· MAINTAINING TARGET. Given these multiple catalysts, we're maintaining our CY08 target of $220 using a 29x P/E on CY09 op. EPS plus $24/sh in net cash.