Tesla could soar 32% in the next year as chip-shortage woes subside and global demand rebounds, Wedbush says

Tesla Model S Plaid sedan
Tesla Model S Plaid.

  • Wedbush’s Dan Ives reiterated his $1,000 12-month price target for Tesla on Friday.
  • The analyst expects a number of concerns including the chip shortage and PR issues in China to subside.
  • He sees Telsa’s stock benefitting from the oncoming “green tidal wave” of demand for EV’s over the next five years.
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One of Wall Street’s biggest Tesla bulls is doubling down on his optimism for the stock despite 2021’s underwhelming performance.

In a Friday note to clients, Wedbush’s Dan Ives reiterated his 12-month price target of $1,000 for the electric vehicle maker’s stock, representing 32% jump from current levels.

After a record 740% rally in 2020, Tesla has eked out a mere 3% gain so far this year. Ives blamed a number of issues for the underperformance, including the lingering semi-conductor chip shortage, safety concerns in China, regulatory concerns, and rising electric vehicle competition.

“That said, seeing the forest through the trees we believe Tesla has a number of growth levers into 2022 that should accelerate growth and profitability with global EV demand further inflecting over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Ives. “We continue to believe there are many winners in the EV arms race to play this transformational growth opportunity including traditional stalwarts and pure play EV OEMs/supply chain plays with Tesla front and center.”

Ives has long said that demand in China is a key driver for Tesla’s growth. But 2021 has been a tough year for the EV maker’s reputation in China, mired with a fatal crash, safety recalls, and CEO Elon Musk being forced to reject reports the country’s military had banned its cars.

According to Ives, those headwinds in China are beginning to reverse course, and Tesla is on track to hit 900,000 annual deliveries in 2021. While electric vehicles only represent 3% of the overall automobile industry globally, he sees that share growing to 10% by 2025 as countries move towards reducing carbon emissions. This will result in a boom of demand for electric vehicles, and Tesla’s stock is poised to benefit, he said.

The analyst also explained that the semiconductor chip shortage is a “near-term” issue that the company will be able to get past.

Shares of Tesla slipped 0.15% on Friday after the opening bell.

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Salesforce stock could jump 32% after ‘beat and raise’ quarter, Wedbush says

Salesforce tower
  • Salesforce stock surged on Friday after the company beat analysts’ revenue and earnings estimates.
  • The firm also raised its guidance and now expects $26 billion of revenue for financial year 2022.
  • Dan Ives of Wedbush says Salesforce stock will jump 32% from Thursday’s closing price to $300.
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Salesforce stock surged on Friday after the company posted a “beat and raise special” in its latest quarterly earnings report, according to Wedbush’s Dan Ives.

In a note to clients on Friday, Wedbush’s managing director of equity research, said that Salesforce revealed “the news the bulls wanted to hear” in its fiscal year 2022 first quarter earnings results.

Ives holds an “outperform” rating and $300 price target on shares of Salesforce.

That target represents a potential 32% jump from Thursday’s closing price.

Salesforce posted 23% year-over-year revenue growth to hit $5.96 billion in its latest earnings release, topping the Street’s $5.89 billion estimate.

Pro forma EPS came in above the Street’s $0.88 expectations as well at $1.21. Billings growth was “the star of the show” in the quarter, according to Ives, coming in at $4.51 billion, well above the Street’s $4.09 billion estimate.

Gross margins did fall to 78.1% from 78.3% in the year-ago period, but operating margins grew to 20.2% from 13.1% year-over-year.

“We had the best first quarter in our company’s history,” CEO Marc Benioff said after the release.”We believe our Customer 360 platform is proving to be the most relevant technology for companies accelerating out of the pandemic.”

Salesforce raised its guidance after the standout quarter, and now expects revenue of between $25.9 billion and $26 billion and earnings per share of between $3.79 and $3.81 for the fiscal year 2022.

“With incredible momentum throughout our core business, we’re raising our revenue guidance for this fiscal year by $250 million to approximately $26 billion and non-GAAP operating margin to 18 percent. We’re on our path to reach $50 billion in revenue in FY26,” Benioff said.

In his note to clients, Ives said that Salesforce has seen “accelerated growth prospects” due to the work from home trend and he expects the digital transformation for work to continue even as the pandemic comes to an end.

“Salesforce’s customer diversification, product portfolio breadth, and ratable SaaS model is continuing to gain significant momentum in the field as the digital transformation spending cycle kicks into its next gear of growth,” Ives wrote.

“Digital transformation projects are getting the green light within many enterprises and is a major tailwind for Salesforce given its stalwart positioning and expanded product footprint,” he added.

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Lyft is a ‘buy’ despite the slide in its share price after earnings and a regulatory overhang, 2 analysts say

john zimmer lyft
Lyft’s John Zimmer in New Orleans in 2018.

  • Lyft got some analyst support on Wednesday after earnings with two top Wall Street analysts reiterating their bullish stances.
  • CFRA’s Angelo Zino reiterated his “buy” rating and $75 price target citing improved pricing.
  • Wedbush’s Dan Ives reiterated his “overweight” rating and $85 price target citing a demand rebound.
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Lyft stock is a “buy” despite the slide in share prices after earnings, according to two top Wall Street analysts.

In a note to investors after Lyft reported earnings, Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities reiterated his “overweight” rating and $85 price target on shares of Lyft.

Similarly, CFRA Research’s Angelo Zino reiterated his “buy” rating and $75 price target.

Both analysts believe the market may be overreacting to regulatory overhang brought about by new pressure on the gig economy.

Lyft stock has been under fire since US labor secretary Marty Walsh said “we are looking at it, but in a lot of cases gig workers should be classified as employees,” in an interview with Reuters last Thursday.

Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber, among a slew of other companies, rely on gig workers’ independent contractor status to reduce labor costs.

On Wednesday things got even worse for Lyft after the Biden administration announced it would end the Trump administration’s “Independent Contractor” rule, which limited the ability of workers to argue that they were misclassified as contractors instead of employees.

The withdrawal of the “Independent Contractor” rule will be published in the Federal Register today, and become effective on Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

Despite the news, some analysts remain bullish on Lyft’s prospects amid the reopening of the American economy.

CFRA’s Angelo Zino said that Lyft is benefitting from improved pricing, rising sales, and a more favorable cost structure after the sale of its Level 5 autonomous vehicle business to Toyota.

Zino did note that there is a “regulatory overhang,” but overall said he was “optimistic” about Lyft’s prospects moving forward.

Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities added similar comments in his note to clients on Wednesday. The analyst said Lyft’s March results gave him “increased confidence” that the company is seeing a “clear demand rebound” heading into the June quarter.

Ives believes Lyft’s guidance for EBITDA profitability by September is reasonable as well.

“Lyft (as well as its stalwart brethren Uber) is set to see a ‘roaring 20’s-like’ rebound into 2H with the red ink soon in the rearview mirror,” Ives wrote.

Wedbush’s managing director of equity research added that he expects there will be a solution to the gig worker dilemma similar to what happened in California back in March.

California voters approved a ballot measure that exempts companies that utilize the “gig economy” from having to treat workers as employees in the first quarter, freeing Uber and Lyft from a 2019 state law that entitled workers to overtime pay, sick leave, and unemployment benefits.

“Management continues to be proactive in labor policy, and we continue to expect a California-like resolution to play out across the rest of the country as well,” Ives wrote.

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Zscaler and Varonis Systems are among the top 7 cybersecurity stocks this earnings season, Wedbush says

cyber security
  • Wedbush analysts expect cybersecurity spending to jump more than 20% in 2021 alone.
  • Cybersecurity stocks will be buoyed by federal spending and a push towards hosting workloads on the cloud.
  • Varonis Systems, Zscaler, Telos Corp., Sailpoint Technologies, Tenable Holdings, Palo Alto Networks, and Fortinet are the firm’s top cybersecurity picks.
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Zscaler and Varonis Systems are among Wedbush Securities’ top 7 cybersecurity stocks heading into what the investment firm believes will be a “strong” earnings season for the sector.

In a note to clients on Sunday, analyst Dan Ives and his team said they’re expecting a robust March earnings season for the cybersecurity space due to a growing threat landscape for tech companies and a continued shift to the cloud.

“Cybersecurity sector/stocks have been treading water so far this year, we view a ‘beat and raise’ 1Q as a positive catalyst to move the sector higher for the rest of 2021,” Ives wrote.

The analysts said recent checks on the cybersecurity industry have revealed strong deal flow making them bullish on the sector.

“In particular we are seeing strong deal flow around identity threat detection, privileged access management (PAM), endpoint/ vulnerability security, and a discernible shift to zero trust architecture all gaining steam in the field,” Ives wrote.

Ives and his team also said they believe 44% of workloads will move to the cloud by the end of 2021 and that figure will hit 55% by 2022.

This digital transformation to the cloud is set to buoy cybersecurity names moving forward, according to Wedbush. The firm forecasts cybersecurity spending to increase over 20% in 2021.

Data from Gartner backs up the Wedbush’s stance. Gartner is forecasting the worldwide information security market to reach over $170 billion in net value by 2022 amid a continued push towards cloud hosting.

The shift to cloud for both enterprises and governments is also being accelerated by big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, due to their recent push to enhance cloud offerings.

Ives and his team said they believe the cybersecurity sector could see an additional 300 bps+ lift from President Biden’s federal spending surge in light of recent nation-state attacks from Russia and China as well.

The analysts added that they expect a surge of M&A to take place within cybersecurity from both strategic and financial players in the coming months.

To that point, ThomaBravo announced it acquired the cybersecurity firm Proofpoint for $12.3 billion in cash on Monday.

Ives concluded by laying out his top seven picks for the cybersecurity industry, which included the following: Varonis Systems, Zscaler, Telos Corp., Sailpoint Technologies, Tenable Holdings, Palo Alto Networks, and Fortinet.

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Bitcoin’s path to $100,000 is less important than its potential impact on the corporate world over the next decade, Wedbush says

  • Dan Ives of Wedbush said bitcoin’s effect on the corporate world is more important than its price.
  • The analyst argued moves into blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies may surge over the coming years.
  • “Bitcoin mania is not a fad…but rather the start of a new age on the digital currency front.”
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Bitcoin’s path to $100,000 per coin is less important than its potential impact on the corporate world over the next decade, according to Wedbush.

In a note to clients on Thursday, Wedbush’s Dan Ives said that the story around bitcoin is much larger than its “potential path/timeline to $100,000.”

The analyst argued the important theme when it comes to cryptocurrencies is “the potential ramifications that crypto, blockchain, and Bitcoin could have across the technology and corporate world for the next decade.”

Ives said moves into blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies could surge over the coming years after companies like Tesla, IBM, Visa, Square, Mastercard, and more entered the fray recently.

There’s a “growing shift for companies to accept this digital currency as a form of payment,” according to the analyst.

Ives added that he still believes “less than 5% of public companies” will invest in bitcoin over the next 12-18 months but said that number could move “markedly higher” as more regulation and acceptance of the currency takes hold.

“Bitcoin mania is not a fad in our opinion, but rather the start of a new age on the digital currency front,” Ives wrote.

Although Ives was one of the first to the party, his comments about cryptocurrencies and their regulation are becoming more in sync with other Street commentators and even CEOs as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies continue to develop.

David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, said his bank is looking into ways to support clients’ desire to own cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in a CNBC “Squawk Box” interview on Tuesday.

The CEO added that he believes there will be a “big evolution” in the way the US government regulates digital assets in the coming years.

Ives and his team also highlighted the potential of using blockchain technology for decentralized storage in their note to clients on Thursday.

The analyst said blockchain technology can help increase the overall speed and lower the price of digital storage moving forward. He noted, “there are a number of business models attacking this new market opportunity with privately-held Filecoin one of the more impressive strategies we have seen in the market.”

As far as Wedbush is concerned, Bitcoin isn’t going away anytime soon, rather it’s set to become “mainstream” and the effects on Wall Street and the corporate world will be huge.

Coinbase’s 840% revenue jump in the first quarter may be the perfect example of what Ives is talking about.

Coinbase posted $1.8 billion in revenue in its first-quarter report. That means the crypto exchange pulled in over $120 million more than Intercontinental Exchange, the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, did in its most recent earnings report.

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Biden’s infrastructure plan is a ‘green tidal wave’ that will revive the EV sector after its recent pullback, Wedbush says

president joe biden

President Biden’s infrastructure plan is set to be released on Wednesday afternoon and some analysts argue it will help revive the EV sector after its recent pullback.

Wedbush’s Dan Ives said in a note to clients on Wednesday morning that he expects a “green tidal wave” from the plan to boost EV stocks.

The analyst said around $200 billion or roughly 10% of President Biden’s plan could go towards electric vehicle initiatives “based on chatter out of the Beltway.”

That’s good news for EV stocks that have been battered recently by a rotation away from highly valued growth and tech names into more value-oriented plays.

Tesla stock is down some 28% from its January 26 highs, while EV names like Nikola and Lordstown Motors are down roughly 22% and 42%, respectively, over the past month alone.

In his Wednesday note, analyst Dan Ives said that “the Street” needs to see two specific components of the infrastructure bill pass through the House and get enacted in order to “change the game” for the EV sector in the US after the pullback.

First, Ives said he hopes to see an expansion of tax credits for EVs “to the $10k range or potentially higher in a tiered system.”

Second, the analyst said he expects to see Biden lift the 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer ceiling on EV credits which would restore the incredibly valuable tax credits for veteran manufacturers like Tesla and GM.

Ives also said that an expansion of charging stations around the US over the next decade would help support a “groundswell EV green tidal wave for consumers/trucking.”

The Wedbush analyst highlighted EV battery companies, recyclers, supercharging infrastructure firms, and commercial EV plays that are set to benefit from the infrastructure plan and EV boom as well.

Ives noted a considerable runway of growth for EVs in the US. EV sales represent just 2% of auto sales in the US compared to 4.5% in China and 3% globally.

According to Ives, the EV market represents a $5 trillion total addressable market over the next decade, which means “many EV OEMs/supply chain players are poised to be major winners over the coming years.”

One thing that wasn’t mentioned in the Wedbush note was that the infrastructure bill is set to be funded by tax hikes for corporations, which may hurt earnings.

Some reports say Biden’s upcoming tax plan could contain up to $3.5 trillion in tax hikes for wealthy individuals and corporations.

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The recent tech sell-off creates a ‘massive buying opportunity’ with another 30% jump for the sector possible in 2021, Wedbush says

happy trader
  • The recent decline in tech stocks has created a “massive buying opportunity” in the sector, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
  • Ives said he believes another 30% jump in tech names is possible in 2021.
  • The analyst argued that 30% to 40% of employees could eventually be permanently remote, adding fuel to the digital transformation.
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The recent decline in tech stocks has created a “massive buying opportunity” as another 30% jump in the sector is possible over the next 12 to 18 months, according to analysts at Wedbush Securities.

In a note to clients late Thursday, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said he believes the current tech stock sell-off has run too far.

“The momentum names in tech are down anywhere from 15% to 25%+ this week and in our opinion, this sell-off is way overdone given the $2 trillion of digital transformation spending on the horizon coupled by a massive M&A spree set for the next few years in the tech space,” Ives said.

This past week’s tech-stock weakness pushed a popular exchange-traded fund that tracks the Nasdaq 100 index below key support levels on Thursday. Popular tech names like Tesla and Microsoft led sector losses throughout the week, falling roughly 10% and 4% respectively.

Much of the decline was caused by a sell-off in government bonds that intensified over the week.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which acts as a benchmark for global borrowing rates, climbed to 1.54% on Thursday following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments. This led to further rotation out of the highly valued tech sector into more cyclical stocks in the energy and financial sectors.

Wedbush’s Ives said he sees the tech sell-off as a “golden opportunity” and argues the “digital transformation across the enterprise and consumer world is just in its first few innings.”

While some analysts and investors have said tech stocks market leadership is fading, Ives believes the post-pandemic reopening won’t hurt tech companies to the extent that some might argue.

The analyst said his team spoke to CEOs around the world who told them that “30%-40% of employees could be remote in a semi-permanent structure.” Ives said this will “put further pressure on CIOs to rip the band-aid off and go aggressive on a cloud/digital transformation roadmap the next few years.”

Ives and company highlighted several tech names that they believe offer considerable upside in his note including Microsoft, Docusign, Salesforce, Zscaler, and Apple.

Despite recent tech weakness, Wedbush “believes tech stocks have another 30% upward move in the cards” in 2021 led by “FAANG, cloud, and cybersecurity names.”

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Tech stocks can soar another 25% as reopening boosts digital transformations, Wedbush says

NYSE trader
  • Tech stocks will climb 25% or more over the next year as economic-reopening progress spurs new growth, Wedbush said Tuesday.
  • FAANG, cloud, and cybersecurity names will lead the climb, while Uber and Lyft represent the best reopening plays, they added.
  • Valuation concerns are valid, but secular trends lifting the group will offset such worries, according to Wedbush.
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The trends poised to lift all manner of tech stocks are only just beginning, Wedbush analysts Dan Ives and Strecker Backe said.

Equity investors are in the midst of a transition. While tech mega-caps and other growth stocks led the bulk of last year’s rally, expectations for a swift economic reopening recently shifted attention toward companies set to benefit most from a recovery. Value and cyclical names have roared higher and left tech names lagging.

Wedbush doesn’t expect the underperformance to last. Blowout earnings from pandemic-darling Zoom show tech stocks are set for another quarter of “beat and raise” reports, the analysts said. Digital transformations will take hold soon after and lift tech stocks by 25% or more over the next 12 months, they added. 

“As we have witnessed in the cloud, collaboration, cybersecurity, and 5G, this tech party is just getting started with consumer and enterprise-driven demand catalyzing a multi-year growth boom for the tech sector looking ahead,” the team said.

Wedbush sees FAANG, cloud, and cybersecurity stocks leading the charge. Disruptive recovery names like Uber and Lyft are the firm’s favorite reopening plays, as lifted restrictions will likely revive ridership.

The political backdrop also lends itself to continued strength in tech stocks, according to Wedbush. The Biden administration will likely have a softer tone against China and ease tensions in the “Cold Tech War,” the analysts said. The 2020 SolarWinds hack also places a fresh focus on cybersecurity efforts in government, they added.

To be sure, the tech sector still enjoys elevated valuations following last year’s rally. Debate over the stocks’ pricing will continue, but Ives and Backe expect the group to swing higher even in the face of the broader rotation to value.

“We believe the underlying fundamental stories and white-hot growth creates a yellow brick road to an upward bullish trend,” they said.

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Nikola downgraded to ‘sell’ by CFRA amid supplier issues and potential ‘legal risks’

Nikola garbage Truck
  • CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson downgraded shares of Nikola to “sell” and lowered his price target to $12 on Thursday.
  • The analyst cited “supplier issues” with the Tre semi-truck and potential ‘legal risks’ from false statements in his reasoning.
  • The company’s 10-K confirmed several allegations made by Hindenburg Research in Sept. of last year.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

CFRA downgraded shares of Nikola to a “sell” on Thursday and lowered the price target to $12 per share after the electric-vehicle maker reported earnings.

Senior analyst Garrett Nelson cited “supplier issues” and potential “legal risks” as the main reasons for the downgrade.

Nikola was able to beat consensus earnings estimates in Q4 posting quarterly EPS of -$0.17 versus an expected -$0.24, but the pre-revenue company revealed its 2021 deliveries for the Tre semi-truck would total only 100 units due to supplier issues, down from 600.

As for legal risks to the company, Nikola disclosed in its 10-K that an internal review conducted by Kirkland & Ellis found at least nine statements made by the company and former CEO Trevor Milton were “inaccurate in whole or in part.”

This confirmed several allegations made by short seller Hindenburg Research back in September of last year. However, the 10-K also said that other statements made by Hindenburg were incorrect.

Nikola’s founder Trevor Milton stepped down on September 21, 2020, after fraud allegations were made public. Recent reports out of CNBC indicate Nikola has been forced to pay $8.1 million for its founder’s legal fees even after his departure.

Analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush wasn’t as concerned about potential legal risks as his peers, however. In a note to clients on Friday Ives said, “we would characterize last night as a positive step in the right direction after navigating a Category 5 storm post the short report/Trevor departure.”

Ives called Nikola a “prove me” story and cited investments into hydrogen-powered battery technology, a friendly clean energy environment from the Biden administration, and partnership momentum as his reasoning.

Ives holds a “neutral” rating and a $25 price target on Nikola.

On the other hand, CFRA’s Garret Nelson said, “even absent its legal issues, we think NKLA stacks up less favorably versus other EV names.”

Nikola holds three “buy” ratings, eight “neutral” ratings, and now one “sell” rating from analysts.

Shares of the EV maker were down 4.99% as of 11:36 a.m ET on Friday.

NKLA chart
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Apple will climb 29% from current levels as the iPhone 12 5G kicks off the strongest product cycle in 6 years, says Wedbush

Tim Cook
  • Shares of Apple could gain nearly 29% over the next 12 months as demand soars for the new iPhone 12, according to a team of Wedbush analysts led by Dan Ives. 
  • Wedbush upgraded its Apple 12-month price target to $160 from $150 on Wednesday. The analysts are maintaining their “outperform” rating for the stock. 
  • “For the key China region, demand remains very healthy with strong pent up demand for upgrades heading into holiday season for this latest iPhone 12 5G, which we would characterize as the strongest product cycle for Cook & Co. thus far since iPhone 6 in 2014,” said Wedbush.
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Shares of Apple could gain nearly 29% over the next 12 months as demand soars for the new iPhone 12.

That’s according to a team of Wedbush Securities analysts led by Dan Ives, who just updated their Apple 12-month price target to $160 from $150, while maintaining their “outperform” rating for the stock. Shares of the tech giant currently trade around $124.

Wedbush analysts say that demand for the iPhone 12 5G in the US and China is stronger than initially expected. 

“With more order activity kicking in over the last few weeks for iPhone 12 our initial reads are very bullish and give us incremental confidence in our supercycle thesis on iPhone 12,” said the analysts.

After initially anticipating 65 million iPhones to fill the supply chain during the initial launch period, Wedbush now forecasts that number to be closer to 80 million. According to their analysis, the only iPhone with a similar growth trajectory was the iPhone 6 in 2014.

“For the key China region, demand remains very healthy with strong pent up demand for upgrades heading into holiday season for this latest iPhone 12 5G, which we would characterize as the strongest product cycle for Cook & Co. thus far since iPhone 6 in 2014,” said Wedbush. 

Read more:We spoke with Wall Street’s 9 best-performing fund managers of 2020 to learn how they crushed the chaotic market – and compile the biggest bets they’re making for 2021

Wedbush also anticipates that 350 million of the 950 million iPhones worldwide are currently in “in the window of an upgrade opportunity,” which will lead to an “unprecedented upgrade cycle for Apple” as the holidays approach. Additionally, Apple could sell more than 240 million iPhones in 2021, said the analysts. The Street forecast is around 215 million units.

Wedbush added that China is a “key ingredient” for Apple. Roughly 20% of the iPhone upgrades will come from that region over the coming year, they said.

“In a nutshell, while services growth remains the key to the Apple re-rating story over the past six months, the hearts and lungs of the Apple growth story are built around iPhone installed base upgrades,” Wedbush said. ” With 5G now in the cards and roughly 40% of its ‘golden jewel’  iPhone installed base not upgrading their phones in the last 3.5 years, Cook & Co. have the stage set for a supercycle 5G product release.” 


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