Why Apple’s (AAPL)Slight Increase in iPhone Sales Over Last Year is More Impressive Than it Seems

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While analysts seem to be quite negative on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fiscal first quarter numbers, the numbers may be better than they initially appear, given the circumstances. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold a staggering 74.8 million iPhones this last quarter. This compares to 74.5 million devices for the same quarter last year. Yes, it is true that they’ve only grown sales by 300,000 units year over year, but considering the fact that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were only an incredmental upgrade, this growth, in our opinion, is incredibly impressive. Go back to the year prior, Q1, 2014, when the last ‘s’ version of the iPhone was available and Apple sold just 51 million units. We can not be comparing complete iPhone overhauls like the 6 to that of the 6s.

When we compare sales of the 6s to that of the 5s we have a 50% gain in units sold for the quarter. The problem isn’t a slowdown in the iPhone market, it’s just that people are holding out for a real upgrade, not a minor one. My prediction is that the iPhone 7 launch will equate to a 100 million iPhone quarter as pent up demand will surprise the market. If you can hold you shares for another 9-12 months I believe that you will be greatly rewarded. Not only will the iPhone 7 see record sales, but a new Apple Watch, new iPad and possibly finally a TV service will all boost revenue. Additionally, Apple Pay may finally begin earning dividends for the company. I would not be surprised if in a year from now the stock is trading up 100%.

The stock closed at $99.99 during the last trading session. It is down 21.64% since June 22, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 12.78%.

From a total of 32 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 28 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 4 a “Hold”. This means that 88% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $200 while the lowest target price is $102. The mean of all analyst targets is $142.97 which is 42.98% above today’s ($99.99) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 105 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Deutsche Bank maintained shares on January 11 with a “Hold” rating. Stifel Nicolaus maintained shares with a”Buy” rating and a $140 target share price in their report from a December 23. Mizuho upgraded AAPL stock in a recent report from January 11 to a “Buy” rating. Barclays Capital maintained the rating on December 14. Barclays Capital has a “Overweight” rating and a $150 price target on shares. Finally, Canaccord Genuity maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a January 8.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.18 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.22, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 103 funds sold all their Apple Inc. shares they owned while 854 reduced their positions. 102 funds bought stakes while 1032 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 3.20 billion shares which is 1.58% less than the previous share count of 3.25 billion in 2015Q2.

Compton Capital Management Inc Ri holds 45.15% of its total portfolio in Apple Inc., equating to 113,694 shares. Raiff Partners Inc owns 100,000 shares representing 32.27% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rfg Advisory Group Llc has 25.06% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 70,558 shares. The New York-based Independent Investors Inc has a total of 23.66% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Dock Street Asset Management Inc, a Connecticut-based fund reported 269,584 shares owned.

Since March 6, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 5 selling transactions for a total of $8.58 million in net activity. Maestri Luca sold 2,908 shares worth $325,347. Williams Jeffrey E sold 46,873 shares worth $5.18M. Riccio Daniel J. sold 24,085 shares worth $3.01 million. Ahrendts Angela J sold 44,789 shares worth $5.90 million. The insider Levinson Arthur D sold 70,000 shares worth $9.20M.

Apple Inc. designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The company has a market cap of $554.39 billion. The Company’s services and products include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. It has 10.87 P/E ratio. The Firm also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store.