Apple's 'super Cycle' Hype Sends Price Target To $177

By Jennifer Booton Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc.'s stock price target was increased to $177 from $161 at Morgan Stanley on Wednesday, with another analyst pricing in expectations for a potential "super cycle" beginning with the next-generation iPhone launch in September. Analyst Katy Huberty, citing data from a 1,000-person survey of U.S. consumers, said a maturing installed base of iPhones has led to pent-up demand, which may prompt people to upgrade their phones when the iPhone 8 - Apple's most hyped phone since the iPhone 6 - launches later this year. Analysts are forecasting record fiscal 2018 iPhone sales, following the company's first-ever annual decline in sales for its flagship product category last year. One sour spot in the Morgan Stanley data, however, is that fewer people are expected to switch to iOS from a rival operating system, due to competition from Samsung Electronics and smaller rivals. Shares of Apple fell 2.4% to $151.75 in late-morning trade, following a broad market selloff that had the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average each down 1.1%. They've outperformed the market over the past 12 months, increasing 62% compared with an 18% increase for the Dow.

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