Financial firms BTIG and Credit Suisse on Thursday bumped up their Apple price target, sales and earnings per share figures after U.S. wireless carriers this week reported strong pre-order sales of the company’s new iPhone 7.
In a Thursday research note, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said the firm had raised its Apple price target by $9 to $133 by increasing its fiscal 2017 price-earnings multiple to 15.5 from 14.5. Piecyk said the decision to boost Apple targets was made based on comments from the four U.S. wireless carriers this week.
On Tuesday, both T-Mobile and Sprint said iPhone 7 preorders were nearly four times higher than preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6s, respectively. AT&T and Verizon at first remained mum on their own figures. However, AT&T CFO John Stevens later indicated preorders were up year over year and Verizon EVP Marni Walden said iPhone sales were “business as usual.”
On Wednesday night, CNET said it received confirmation from Apple initial quantities of the iPhone 7 Plus in all colors had already sold out. CNET said the smaller iPhone 7 had also sold out in the new jet black color offered by the company.
Piecyk said the reports put to rest doubts about the iPhone 7’s ability to drive upgrades.
“In our view, the comments by the wireless operators have reduced the risk on whether Apple can execute on our EPS estimates, including our above consensus estimates in the December quarter, which call for a return to revenue and EPS growth at Apple,” he wrote. “We believe the commentary by the four national wireless operators in the United States, which we estimate represents more than one quarter of launch quarter sales for the iPhone, bode well for a return to iPhone growth in the December quarter.”
Credit Suisse also appeared to be encouraged by pre-order reports, on Thursday raising its iPhone sales and earnings per share estimates.
According to StreetInsider.com, Credit Suisse raised its earnings per share estimates for 2016 and 2017 by 3 percent to $8.22 and $10.09, respectively. The firm also gave its iPhone volumes a bump to 215 million in 2016 and 221 in 2017, up from previous estimates of 208 million for 2016 and 217 million for 2017. Credit Suisse is also now anticipating Apple volumes will hit 48 million in the fiscal fourth quarter 2016 and 75 million in the fiscal first quarter 2017.
The firm held its price target of $150.
Apple stocks were up nearly 2 percent in premarket trading Thursday on the news.