Apple (AAPL 0.66%) got numerous analysts nods on Thursday, resulting in an upgrade and multiple price target increases on growing bullishness regarding the potential for a financial rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
HSBC analyst Nicolas Cote-Collison turned slightly more bullish on Apple's prospects, particularly regarding the potential for its services segment, upgrading the stock to "hold" from "sell" and increasing his price target to $295 from its previous level of $225. It's worth noting that Apple stock is currently near $350. While Cote-Collison still believes macroeconomic conditions will act as a headwind, the services segment should continue to prosper.
"The pandemic will, in our view, create more demand for health-related tools and Apple could play a large role in addressing that demand," Cote-Collison wrote in a note to clients. The analyst also noted that healthcare is "the first or second largest sector in the economy" depending on the country, providing a large potential market for growth.
At the same time Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers bumped his price target to $385 from $315, largely on optimism for the iPhone. "Despite the strong [year-to-date] outperformance we have seen in shares of Apple ... we continue to believe investors will view this as a favored high-quality large cap name given continued evidence of a post-COVID recovery in smartphone demand, coupled with an expectation of a positive 5G cycle materializing into late-2020/2021," Rakers wrote.
Not to be left out, Bank of America boosted its price target on Apple to $390 from $340, encouraged by Apple stock hitting an all-time high yesterday. The analyst also cited 5G as increasing demand for the iPhone and wearables. Additionally, among the large tech companies, Apple carries a lower risk of regulation compared to its peers. Finally, the analyst believes Apple's stable cash flows are deserving of a higher multiple.