Apple Inc’s (AAPL) Optimistic About MacBook Sales in 4Q, Oppenheimer Analyst Maintains Their Neutral Rating

By Carrie Williams

Oppeheimer's comments on Apple todayAmidst the growing concern regarding the impact of Trump administration on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the news about MacBook Pro sales brings in some much-needed cheer for investors. According to unnamed sources of the upstream supply chain, the company has recently increased the orders for new MacBook Pro. This is a quick 180 turn for the company’s earlier stance, as Apple had delayed the product’ shipment schedule by a quarter because of low yield rates for some components like battery, hinges, and keyboard.

However, post the launch in October, Apple has started turning aggressive on MacBook Pro orders, as reported by DigiTimes.  These strong shipments are expected to continue until the end of 2016, as Apple has indicated optimism regarding the 4Q sales of MacBook and expect the shipments to reach 15 million units in 2016. The MacBook shipments in 2017 are estimated to stay at the same level as in 2016. Reacting to the news, Oppenheimer analyst Rick Schafer reiterated their Perform rating on the stock today. AAPL is currently trading at $111.06 which is above the 200-day SMA of $103.62.

In addition to Trump’s election, uncertainties like the upcoming retail selling season later this month and FOMC decision in December are making investors second guess themselves regarding the sustainability of the current rally of the technical giant. However, the Q4 in-line revenue of $46.9 billion and EPS beat of $1.67 ($0.02 more than estimates) indicates that AAPL is still on the right track, and the expected rise in MacBook sales could just be another shot in the arm for the company.

Latest rumors indicate a possible manifold increase in OLED orders from the supplier Samsung, as per AppleInsider. Currently, Apple uses OLED screens in Apple Watch and the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro. This spike in OLED order has sparked talks about the release of high-end OLED iPhone model within the next three years.

Based on the 34 latest analysts’ ratings on AAPL the consensus rating on the stock is currently a Strong Buy, as provided by data compiled by TipRanks. The average price target of the analysts stands at $130.47, which is an upside of 17.48% from the current levels.