Here it is the end of March, and Apple (AAPL) is already closing in on my 2018 target of $200. Indeed, with a market capitalization today of $930 billion, Apple is on the verge of becoming the world’s first $1 trillion publicly traded company.
And here’s the really great thing about this year for Apple bulls. If you had the right cojones you had a chance to load the boat just above $150 only five/six weeks ago.
If you did, as I begged, pleaded, and beseeched you to do, your Apple trade earned a handy 22.33% at today’s $170. 63 high.
Now for the good news. The best is yet to come. In fact, there are 10 reasons why Apple shares should hit my lofty target sometime this year.
1) Share buybacks are first and foremost. With $280 worth of cash in the bank abroad, and two thirds of that committed to buy back Apple stock, shareholders essentially have a free put option.
Indeed, you could see the company’s invisible hand in the marketplace during the recent correction, soaking up shares at every opportunity. We won’t learn the true numbers until the next quarterly earnings report on May 1.
2) Valuation is still the overwhelming factor driving institutions into Apple stock. With a price-earnings multiple of 18X and a dividend yield of 1.40%, Apple is trading not only at a discount to the main market, but a discount to most of tech as well. No one ever got fired for buying Apple, at least not recently.
3) Apple’s sales are as good as ever. The expected drawdown in between new phone launches is proving less than expected. All of the channel checks suggesting a bigger drop have proven unfounded.
4) The rest of technology is on fire. Even if Apple were stumbling now, which it isn’t, it would get dragged up by the meteoric moves seen in the rest of the FANGs.
5) The administration’s nixing of the Broadcom (AVGO) takeover of QUALCOMM (QCOM), protects the principal supply of propriety chips for Apple phones safe from foreign interference. Broadcom could have chopped the research budget or transferred crucial technology to foreign competitors.