Apple faces headwinds in 2019, but shares look cheap

Morningstar analysts anticipate the firm resumes mid-single-digit sales growth from fiscal 2020 onwards following a modestly lower fiscal 2019

Abhinav Davuluri, CFA 30 January, 2019 | 6:00PM
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 Apple (AAPL) reported fiscal first-quarter results in line with the firm’s revised guidance from Jan. 2. Positively, non-iPhone segments (services, Mac, iPad, and wearables/accessories) grew 19% year over year led by stellar services and wearables growth. After factoring in near-term iPhone headwinds in China and emerging markets, management’s outlook for the second quarter was relatively consistent with our expectations. Shares rose nearly 6% during after-hours trading, as we believe the market was expecting far worse.

We are maintaining our US$200 fair value estimate for narrow-moat Apple, as we anticipate the firm resumes mid-single-digit sales growth from fiscal 2020 onwards following a modestly lower fiscal 2019.

First-quarter revenue fell 4.5% year over year to US$84.3 billion, as iPhone sales fell 15% and non-iPhone sales grew 19%. CEO Tim Cook attributed the iPhone challenges to negative foreign exchange fluctuations (as a stronger dollar made iPhones more expensive in many emerging regions), reduced carrier subsidies, Apple’s battery replacement program that prolonged upgrades, and the aforementioned weakness in China. While the first three factors appear more transitory in nature, we have significantly cut our iPhone unit forecasts for China going forward as we anticipate a more competitive environment despite the current tepid macroeconomic backdrop in the region and U.S.-China trade tensions.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Apple Inc148.85 USD-0.31Rating

About Author

Abhinav Davuluri, CFA

Abhinav Davuluri, CFA  Abhinav Davuluri is a senior equity analyst for Morningstar.


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