Apple supply chain checks suggest tighter capital control, says RBC Capital
RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani kept his Outperform rating and $203 price target on Apple after conducting the company's Asian supply channel check. The analyst maintains his expectations of three iPhones to be launched this year - one LCD model and two LED models - while also noting tighter cost controls by the company since it ramped up the output of iPhone 8. Daryanani further expects the LCD model to feature a 6.1-inch full screen and 3D sensing, accounting for over 50% of of the new iPhone production by the second half. The analyst notes that while suppliers expect the production of 80M-90M iPhone units in the second half of 2018 - below 100M-120M iPhone 8/X forecasts made last year - the forecast has more to do with inventory management rather than demand. Daryanani maintains his positive outlook on Apple stock thanks to the tailwinds around the company's "capital allocation, services growth, gross-margin upside and attractive valuation".