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Dow Jones News: Apple Shakes off Coronavirus; Nike Seen as Strong Buy

By Timothy Green - Updated Feb 3, 2020 at 11:34AM

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Apple continued rising as the outbreak in China threatened sales, and Nike jumped after two analysts talked up the stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.98%) staged a big comeback Monday morning after suffering a large loss to close out last week. The news around China's coronavirus outbreak hasn't gotten any better, with the number of casualties rising sharply over the weekend. Despite that backdrop, the Dow was up 1.05% at 10:50 a.m. EST.

In terms of individual stocks, Apple (AAPL 4.01%) rose despite an analyst warning about the coronavirus reducing iPhone shipments, and Nike (NKE 0.58%) was up after two analysts made bullish arguments for the apparel and footwear stock.

Apple shakes off coronavirus

Shares of Apple were up 0.7% Monday morning despite the potential for the coronavirus outbreak in China to dent sales. China's economic growth could suffer if the outbreak continues to escalate, and the Chinese government is reportedly considering cutting their growth target for 2020.

The iPhone 11.

Image source: Apple.

In the near term, the tech giant announced over the weekend that it was closing its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in China through Feb. 9. Analysts at Wedbush don't see this as a big deal, saying that at most 1 million iPhone sales could shift into the quarter containing June, representing less than 3% of annual Chinese iPhone sales.

Another analyst expects a larger impact. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities slashed his first-quarter iPhone shipment guidance by 10% on Monday, citing a survey that indicated that iPhone supply is being impacted by the outbreak. Kuo expects Apple to ship between 36 million and 40 million iPhones in the first quarter, up from an estimated 38 million in the prior-year period. Apple no longer reports iPhone unit sales.

When Apple reported its latest results, the company set an unusually wide revenue guidance range for the second fiscal quarter due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. With the virus still spreading rapidly, Apple's iPhone business could take a serious hit.

Investors aren't showing much concern. Apple stock is up about 6% year to date, and up about 87% over the past year.

Nike gets a boost from optimistic analysts

Shares of Nike have been hammered recently by coronavirus fears, losing roughly 8% of their value in the final week and a half of January. A few analysts see this decline as a buying opportunity. Nike stock was up 4.3% Monday morning in the wake of this positive commentary.

Analysts at UBS upgraded Nike from "neutral" to "buy" on Monday, while JPMorgan added Nike to its "analyst focus list." JPMorgan called Nike a multi-year buying opportunity in a note to clients.

Both UBS and JPMorgan believe Nike stock deserves an even higher valuation than it already has. UBS thinks a price-to-earnings ratio of 37 is appropriate, while JPMorgan pointed to a below average price-to-earnings growth ratio as justification for calling Nike undervalued.

Based on the average analyst estimate for 2020, Nike stock currently trades for 33 times earnings. Analysts are expecting modest 8.4% sales growth this year. UBS now has a $136 price target on Nike stock, while JPMorgan maintains an $111 price target. The stock currently trades right around $100 per share.

The coronavirus outbreak could derail Nike's growth, given that it depends on China for both a chunk of its sales and a large portion of its apparel and footwear sourcing. But neither analyst appears all that concerned.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$143.11 (4.01%) $5.52
NIKE, Inc. Stock Quote
NIKE, Inc.
NKE
$108.63 (0.58%) $0.63
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$31,880.24 (1.98%) $618.34

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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