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Apple Earns an Upgrade, Shares Up 2 percent

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose more than 2% pre-market today after Bernstein analysts upgraded the company from Market Perform to Outperform while maintaining a price target of $195.
The analysts cited Apple’s significant de-rating amid concerns over a weak iPhone 15 cycle and structural issues in its China business as an overreaction, viewing the downturn as more cyclical. Highlighting the historical volatility of Apple’s performance in China, which is highly sensitive to product features, the analysts pointed out Apple’s current trading at 1.21 times a market multiple, below its five-year average of 1.29 times.
Anticipating strong tailwinds from replacement cycles and new generative AI features, the analysts expect a robust iPhone 16 cycle. Their 2025 model forecasts revenue of $416.9 billion and EPS of $7.40, slightly above the consensus of $412.1 billion in revenue and $7.13 EPS, with iPhone unit sales projected to grow 10% year-over-year to 248 million.
With low expectations set for the upcoming Q2 results and guidance potentially acting as a market “clearing event,” similar to previous years, the analysts also noted Apple’s historical performance surge leading into iPhone launches—having outperformed in 15 of the last 17 years during the three months preceding the event.

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