Shares for Apple Inc. has been taking the market by storm recently following its 21.5% surge in the past six months and outpacing the S&P 500’s 5% rise in the same interval. After notching a new 52-week record this month, AAPL ended Wednesday’s trading session at $120.02, down by a measly 0.01%.
The stock had endured a rough year that ended with a more bullish outlook in December 2016, eventually climbing its way to $120 in the previous session. From the same period last year, one can easily compare the stock’s situation from then and now.
With the stock of this technology giant continuing to move higher, it poses a question to many investors on whether it would still be a good buy—and FSM News gives three reasons on why it is.
Stock valuation remains conservative
Even with AAPL’s hefty rise over the months, it still trades at a significant discount. Comparing it to other S&P 500 companies that have a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of roughly 25, Apple’s P/E comes at just 14.4.
Moreover, the company’s stock valuation is remarkably cheap if you consider its price relative to its underlying free cash flow, or the excess cash Apple’s business makes that can be utilized for future capital expenditures, acquisitions, dividends, and share repurchases. The stock trades at merely 12.2 times free cash flow—a valuation that principally assumes Apple’s free cash flow per share will remain at current levels.
To sum up this point, since AAPL is already priced for the headwinds inhibiting its growth to stick around, investors have a good chance of earning a substantial return on their investment over the long run even if the company never finds a way to grow its top or bottom line. All that needs to be done is to keep its current levels of profitability.
Fears are still inflated
There lies a good reason for Apple’s rather conservative valuation. Year-over-year (YOY) revenue losses in the technology company’s iPhone segment recently have been dragging heavily on Apple’s results. The device makes up more than 60% of the firm’s training 12-month revenue, so a difficult year for the flagship phone makes the overall results of the company suffer.
Contrariwise, while it makes sense for investors to see this negative trend with uncertainty, the gloomy accounts about Apple's outlooks are exaggerated. A prime example is the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which fueled a massive upgrade cycle for Apple as consumers ate up the first iPhone with a phablet-sized screen, which meant the company's fiscal 2016 was up against some hard annual comparisons.
Already, Apple is guiding for its YOY revenue comparisons to improve this year. The company estimates its first-quarter revenue to be slightly higher than in the same quarter last year.
Additionally, it's simple to imagine iPhone sales returning to growth when the Apple fixes the device's form factor with its predictable next redesign, which may occur early this 2017.
Furthermore, other Apple segments, or even future new products, could still continue to surprise the market. The tech giant's services segment is already seemingly encouraging, and investors can take comfort in the fact that any new product would launch to an extremely loyal customer base due to the Apple's brand power.
A great dividend stock
Even if the company has difficulty in growing its revenue and its bottom line, even, AAPL is undeniably an excellent dividend investment. While Apple’s dividend yield of 1.9% may not be appealing, it does start to become impressive when investors consider the tech giant has been boosting the dividend at a rate of roughly 11% yearly, and is only paying out 23% of its free cash flow in dividends.
Therefore, there’s no reason why the firm couldn’t maintain increasing its dividend at the said rate of 11% for the foreseeable future. At that rate, Apple’s dividend would double in approximately 7 years.
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