Samsung revealed its new top-of-the-line smartphone on Wednesday–and the Galaxy S8 comes with a bigger screen, slimmer design and a new AI assistant. But should Apple fans be worried? Hardly.
At least, that’s the takeaway from the performance of Apple stock, which has been on a nearly unbroken string of success for most of the last year. Apple shares are up more than 55% since its 2016 low of $90.34 last May, and 24% since the beginning of 2017. The stock was trading at more than $144 per share on Wednesday during the Samsung announcement, another new all-time high.
Analysts who cover Apple are mostly bullish on the company’s prospects as an investment, even at these higher share prices. 24 of 37 analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance call Apple either a Buy or Strong Buy, 10 call it a Hold, with only one dissenter arguing Apple stock is a Sell.
In his latest note on Monday, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich set his 12 month price target at $151 per share. Milunovich writes that he expects “double-digit unit growth” for iPhones in fiscal year 2018 as a large number of iPhone 6 owners seek to upgrade, “creating a strong year if not a ‘supercycle’.”
Nomura analyst Jeffrey Kvaal also increased his price target for Apple shares to $165. Citing expected shipments of OLED displays for Apple’s next iPhone, he predicts Apple will ship 90 million or more iPhones in the next cycle, higher than the consensus estimate of 82 million.
Investors are clearly hopeful Apple may be regaining its iPhone growth after a stagnant year and are encouraged by the emergence of Apple’s services revenue from iTunes, Apple Music, and the App Store. They also like Apple’s strategy of stock buybacks, which have decreased the total available shares by about 20% in the last year, driving up the price.
Samsung is the largest competitor to Apple in the U.S. and in many other places around the globe, but even its innovative new Galaxy S8 may be playing catch up to the iPhone.