Apple Users Seen As Upgrading IPhones More Frequently

By MarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc.'s stock target was raised to $162 from $155 at Morgan Stanley on Monday on the premise that Apple users are upgrading their devices more frequently. Analyst Katy Huberty, who reiterated an overweight rating on the stock, raised her iPhone unit growth estimates to 7% in fiscal-year 2016 versus 3% previously. In a "realistic bull case," iPhone growth could rise as much as 12% year-over-year, Huberty said. The bank's surveys indicate strong demand for iPhones in the U.S. and China, with more iPhone users in those markets expected to upgrade their iPhones within the next 12 months than Morgan Stanley initially expected. "The Apple life cycle is shortening," Huberty said. Apple rival Samsung Electronics is seen as a loser comparatively, Huberty said, because of plans it has in place to reduce exposure to the volatile Chinese market. Shares of Apple gained 0.5% in premarket trade, putting the stock on track to open at $112.70. Shares of Apple are down 9% over the last three months, versus a 4% decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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