Morgan Stanley sees upside to $180

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is currently up about 20% versus the start of the year but a Morgan Stanley analyst says the stock could go further up in the coming months.

Woodring names Apple stock his top pick

On Friday, Erik Woodring dubbed the iPhone maker a “top pick” and raised his price objective to $180 that represents about a 25% upside on its previous close.

The analyst agreed that near-term Apple stock could struggle with challenges but said:

We see a catalyst-rich event path over the next 12 months that’s underappreciated by investors, including reaccelerating iPhone and Services growth, record gross margins, two new product launches.

The tech behemoth could also soon launch an iPhone subscription programme that he said would further create room for shares to the upside.

Woodring’s bull case for Apple Inc

Woodring remains convinced that pent-up demand will push shipments above expectations by fiscal 2024. Historically, he also added, Apple stock outperforms the broader market in 6 to 9 months following the release of a new iPhone.

The Morgan Stanley analyst expects the multinational’s services revenue to return to double-digit growth this financial year related partly to price increases in the likes of Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple One.

He sees resilience of the company’s gross margin in the face of currency headwinds as “most underappreciated” and expects its upcoming AR/VR headset to be a positive catalyst as well.

Last month, Apple Inc reported its first quarterly decline in sales since 2019 as Invezz posted HERE. Still, Woodring’s bull case sees its shares trading at $230.