Apple stock notched a record high on Tuesday after an analyst predicted it will be the top-performing FAANG stock in 2021.
That would be its third straight year as the top-performing stock in the group. FAANG is a popular, though ungainly, acronym for Big Tech stocks Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL).
“Our headline prediction is that Apple will be the top-performing FAANG stock in 2021,” Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, said in a blog post Tuesday. “In 2019, Apple was the top performer, and the stock is set to repeat in 2020.”
Munster added, “We believe AAPL will approach $200 (46% upside from current levels) over the next couple years.”
Apple Stock Touches Buy Point From Cup Base
In morning trading on the stock market today, Apple stock hit a buy point of 138.08 out of a cup base, according to IBD MarketSmith charts. However, shares soon pulled back. Apple stock ended the regular session down 1.3% to 134.87.
In intraday trading, Apple reached an all-time high of 138.79.
Munster is bullish on Apple stock for several reasons. For one, he believes the 5G wireless transition will spark a multiyear iPhone upgrade cycle.
“While we expect limited 5G network coverage in the U.S. will initially temper consumer demand for iPhone 5G in the front half of 2021, as 5G coverage and performance improves in the back half of the year, we believe it will spur a multiyear iPhone upgrade cycle vs. the typical one-year cycle,” Munster said.
Mac Hardware Subscriptions Predicted
Apple also is a key player in the work-from-home trend, which is likely to persist after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided.
“We estimate the percentage of U.S. knowledge workers working remotely will settle long term at a level 3x greater than before the pandemic,” Munster said. The trend has boosted sales of Mac computers and other Apple products and services.
Munster also predicts that Apple will offer more hardware subscriptions.
“We envision Apple building on its current iPhone upgrade program to offer similar subscriptions for Mac, iPad, and Watch,” he said. “Today, about 55% of the company’s revenue can be purchased as a subscription. By adding Mac, iPad, and Watch subscriptions, that number would approach 85%. This dynamic will increase the company’s revenue and earnings visibility which should, in turn, expand the earnings multiple.”
Apple stock is on IBD’s prestigious Leaderboard watchlist. Leaderboard has identified several early-entry buy points in recent weeks.
Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.
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