Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor who Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to name Secretary of the Treasury, is too aggressive in his forecast for Apple Inc.’s stock, says one analyst.
Icahn in May predicted
that the iPhone maker’s stock would almost double to $240 a share as the company continued to innovate with new products like the Apple Watch and to buy back stock with its growing cash hoard.
But that was before China’s stock market crashed in August as investors feared the world’s second-biggest economy was in trouble and U.S. markets fell more than 10 percent into correction territory.
A 20 percent drop in Apple’s stock has cast doubt on Icahn’s bold prediction, says Charles Lewis Sizemore, chief investment officer of Sizemore Capital Management.
“Icahn is far too optimistic about some of Apple’s current projects,” Sizemore writes on a blog post
. “He sees an Apple paid TV service and car as being major moneymakers. Hey, maybe they will, maybe they won’t. We don’t have enough information to draw meaningful conclusions.”
Digging into Apple’s financial statements, he foresees Apple at $143 a share based on next year’s projected earnings. That’s 23 percent higher than its price of about $116 a share on Sept. 14.
“While Mr. Icahn might be a little on the aggressive side, I have to agree with him in principle,” Sizemore writes. “Apple [is] one of the very best value plays available today.”
Other analysts say Apple may rise 50 percent in the next year, according to Barron's
A key catalyst will be the iPhone leasing program, which the company announced last week at an event in San Francisco to show off new products. Apple will offer customers a free iPhone upgrade every 12 months.
"Apple’s program provides unlocked phones, so leasing customers, in theory, can move between carriers as often as they like," Alexander Eule writes in Barron's. "Over time, it is conceivable that Apple could add other perks, as well."
The magazine cites research from one portfolio manager who estimates Apple shares should be valued at $170.
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