Apple nasdaq Aapl Stock Gets Boost As Bernstein Analyst Issues Bullish Rating

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Stock Gets Boost as Bernstein Analyst Issues Bullish Rating

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock jumped over 2% in intraday trading Monday after a Bernstein analyst issued a bullish rating.

Toni Sacconaghi, a prominent analyst at Bernstein Societe Generale Group, has upgraded the Apple (AAPL) stock rating from “market perform” to “outperform,” citing potential growth in iPhone sales driven by generative artificial intelligence updates. This upgrade marked the first “buy” equivalent rating from Sacconaghi since early 2018 and led to Apple’s largest one-day percentage gain in more than two weeks.

Sacconaghi wrote that a weak iPhone 15 cycle and fears about its China business, which analysts perceived as structurally impaired, had hurt Apple. He argued that China’s weakness is more cyclical than structural, emphasizing that Apple’s business in the region has exhibited higher volatility than its overall operations.

The analyst points to replacement cycle tailwinds and incremental generative AI features as factors that position Apple favorably for a strong iPhone 16 cycle. 

For 2025, Sacconaghi forecasts revenue of $416.9 billion and earnings per share of $7.40, beating consensus estimates of $412.1 billion in revenue and $7.13 EPS. He also anticipates iPhone unit sales to grow by 10% year-over-year to 248 million.

Bernstein Analyst Bullish on Apple

Sacconaghi acknowledges that Apple’s fiscal second-quarter results, due out on Thursday, have low expectations. However, he highlights that the stock is “entering its seasonally strong trading period,” noting its tendency to outperform in the three months leading up to iPhone launches, a trend observed in 15 of the past 17 years.

Sacconaghi maintained his price target of $195 for Apple’s stock, highlighting its potential for further upside compared to its closing price of $173.50 on Monday. The median price target for the stock stands at $200, according to LSEG data.

The analyst maintained a “market-perform” rating on Apple stock since downgrading it from “outperform” in February 2018. In November 2006, Sacconaghi initiated coverage with a “market-perform” rating, then elevated it to “outperform” in October 2008.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Stock Price Action

AAPL stock rose 2.48% to close at $173.50 on Monday. Its value has increased by 4.62% this week. Trading activity has witnessed 66,307,111 (66.30 million) shares changing hands, higher than the average daily volume of 61.36 million.