Apple target price gets a boost at Jefferies

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Apple Inc. shares got a price target boost at Jefferies Thursday as analyst Kyle McNealy cheered the company’s opportunities in 5G. “Specifically, we see historically low upgrade rates and handset subsidies in the US reversing trend, share gains versus Huawei in Europe, and a massive legacy installed base in China looking to upgrade,” he wrote in a note to clients while upping his target price to $135.00 from $116.25. McNealy estimates that the current upgrade rate is about 5% per quarter, which he said is below the perhaps 8% to 10% rates seen from 2014 to 2016. He expects that carriers could get more aggressive with subsidies as they try to compete for new 5G customers to help justify their spending on this new network infrastructure. He’s also upbeat about the company’s potential in China given that a recent Jefferies survey found that 75% of respondents there were using the iPhone 6, 7, or 8. He has a buy rating on the stock, which is off 1.1% in Thursday trading. The shares have risen 26% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has added 7%.
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