“Apple Inc. were indicated higher in pre-market trading Monday after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch boosted their rating on the tech giant, citing stability in its global supply chain,” Martin Baccardax reports for TheStreet.
“BAML analyst Wamsi Mohan, who had cut his firm’s rating on Apple to neutral in early November, returned his assessment to ‘buy’ with a price target of $210 per share, a 16.6% increase from the bank’s previous level,” Baccardax reports. “Monhan said that a ‘large reversal of inventory overhang’ for Apple iPhones, as well as stability in the group’s global supply chain and ‘modest’ acceleration in services revenue growth has improved the group’s valuation.”
“He also predicated the group will announce a near-term share buyback plan,” Baccardax reports. “We expect Apple to announce a new share buyback program during its F2Q19 earnings in April,” Mohan wrote. “In past years, the company has issued new authorizations sized $30 billion to $50 billion. Given the pullback in the stock, we expect Apple to issue at least an incremental $50 billion authorization this time… ‘Apple continues to return capital to shareholders in the form of buybacks and dividend, and we model $20 billion of buybacks, per quarter, for the next two quarters, after which we return to a more normal level of $8 billion per quarter.'”
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MacDailyNews Take: In pre-market trading shares of AAPL were up $2.74, or 1.58%, in pre-market trading.EDT