Published in Mobiles

Analyst: Apple is not a tech company

by on28 December 2018

Think of it as a consumer staple

Apple analyst Gene Munster claims that people should stop thinking of Apple as a tech company but as a consumer staple like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Philip Morris.

He thinks that Apple's stock could soon start trading like those consumer staples.

Like those companies, "Apple has a more predictable business than it may have historically been and was thought of". Munster, now a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, told Business Insider that Apple stock could see a multiple like a consumer staple.

Munster thinks Apple next year will outperform its big-tech peers in the group of FAANGs — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Quite how it will do that when its flagship product is dying is anyone’s guess. But I guess if Apple is free of the requirement to make expensive tech, but still make money it is possible.

Munster said that consumer-staple companies in the S&P 500 trade at about 16 times their forecasted earnings for next year and top-tier companies in the sector, such as Coke and P&G, are accorded a multiple of 20 or more.

If investors start thinking of Apple as a consumer staple, its stock price should appreciate markedly. If Apple were trading at the average consumer-staple multiple, its stock would be at around $214 a share, instead of $156.

And Munster is convinced that's going to happen. Apple's stock has been weighed down by its iPhone business. The overall smartphone market has started to decline, in terms of units shipped, and Apple has faced concerns about soft demand for its latest iPhones.

But the company is redirecting investors' attention from the number of smartphones it sells to its overall revenue, Munster said. When investors realize that number is continuing to grow — regardless of what's happening with the number of iPhones it sells — they'll start to feel more comfortable with its stock and valuation, he said.

"Over the course of 2019, investors will take away that this is a reliable business, and this deserves a higher multiple than the smartphone business", he said.

Last modified on 28 December 2018
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