Apple: Six reasons why its shares could rise, not including the Apple Car
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had a rough go of it in 2022, trading roughly in-line with the S&P 500 (SP500), and down 20%, after several years of market outperformance. However, with the global economy slowing and concerns over rising inflation hitting equities across the board, investment firm Citi laid out six reasons that the stock can move higher.
Apple's (AAPL) increased focus on India is the first pillar and is likely to help the company in the interim and the long-term, analyst Jim Suva said.
Suva, who has a buy rating on Apple (AAPL) and a $174-a-share price target, noted that India's upper-mid and high-income middle class is expected to double to more than 51% of total households, or roughly 200M and increase spending six times to account for 61% of $6T by 2030.
Other levers for Apple (AAPL) in India include the opening of Apple stores in the country, as well as the increase in manufacturing in the country.
The second lever that Suva said could move Apple (AAPL) higher is that iPhone revenue will not be decline on a year-over-year basis past December because of the aforementioned China production issues caused by COVID-related lockdowns.
"We recognize there are several moving pieces to the December quarter results given the Zhengzhou manufacturing shutdown situation, with consensus estimates moving lower, closer to our estimates," Suva wrote, adding that recent monthly revenue data from Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) suggests downside is "limited" as the data is not as bad as feared.
"We believe unmet demand will likely be pushed out to the March quarter," Suva added.
Suva also explained that overall iPhone revenue is likely to be "flattish" in 2023 with the company launching its "normal steady cadence" of new smartphones in the new year.
Separately on Wednesday, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that he did not expect to launch the iPhone SE 4 in 2024, citing lower sales volumes and increased costs.
The third pillar is a likely boost in services revenue next year, as Suva said the segment should benefit from recent price hikes and easing headwinds from foreign exchange.
Suva also noted that Apple's (AAPL) advertising revenue, estimated to be roughly $3.5B in 2022, could start to grow as the company "opens up additional inventory of display ads across [its] digital offerings."
The final three reasons for Apple's (AAPL) shares to move higher include the company's eventual move into mixed reality, with its widely-rumored mixed reality headset, slated to launch sometime in 2023; a limited impact to its services revenue via regulatory-related concerns; and its enormous cash hoard, which has fueled growth in share buybacks, dividends and an overall flight of safety from investors.
Suva also said that Apple (AAPL) may eventually release a car, but no earlier than 2025, which depending on the route it takes, could boost sales between 2% and 15%.
On Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) was said to be in the process of moving some of its MacBook production out of China and over to Vietnam.