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Tech Stocks This Week: Analysts Talk Square and Apple

By Daniel Sparks – Oct 12, 2019 at 12:45PM

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Here's what analysts are saying about these two stocks.

As earnings season gets ready to kick into high gear next week, analysts were busy making calls on stocks this week. Some of the notable analyst coverage in tech was focused on point-of-sale technology company Square (SQ -1.94%) and tech giant Apple (AAPL 0.83%).

Here's a look at what some analysts said about these stocks during the week.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Square: Increased reinvestment could lead to growth

Shares of Square were upgraded to a buy rating on Friday by Susquehanna analyst James Friedman. While the analyst emphasized that he isn't taking sides on whether the stock will go up or down when Square reports earnings early next month, he's bullish on the stock when it comes to the long term. His $77 12-month price target for Square implies 25% upside.

Friedman thinks shares are a buy because of Square's lower stock price after a recent sell-off and an expected improvement in gross payment volume and revenue as a result of recent reinvestment.

Management has insisted in recent shareholder letters that the company has been investing in its business to drive long-term growth. "We see significant market opportunity and compelling returns on our investments across both our seller and Cash App ecosystems," said management in the company's second-quarter shareholder letter. 

But not all analysts are bullish on the company. Instinet analyst Bill Carcache wrote in a note on Friday that the company's ongoing reinvestment will likely hurt Square's margins. He initiated coverage of the stock with a 12-month $49 price target, well below the stock's $61.54 price as of market close on Friday.

Apple: Apple TV+ could be a boon for the stock

On Friday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives gave Apple stock an outperform rating and a $265 12-month price target. This price target is $20 higher than his previous price target. While Ives noted that part of his bullish outlook was due to signs that iPhone 11 demand is improving, he also interestingly cited the company's upcoming streaming-TV service.

Apple TV+, Ives believes, could contribute materially to the company's business, thanks to the company's installed base of 900 million iPhones, its low price, and the potential for 100 million subscribers over the next three to four years.

Apple's streaming-TV service launches on Nov. 1 and will cost $4.99 per month. To help drive subscriber growth, the company is including one year of Apple TV+ for free with purchases of iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, and Mac devices.

This new service could add $15 in intrinsic value to Apple's shares, according to Ives.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Square. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2020 $70 puts on Square, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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