Royal Bank of Canada raises Apple price target

From a note to clients from RBC analyst Amit Daryanani that landed in my inbox Monday:

AAPL – iPhone X Ramps and Mar-qtr Seasonality: We are increasing our price target to $200 (from $190) as we roll forward our EPS estimates to CY18. Fundamentally, we think upside will stem from better iPhone ASP trends (mix/memory tailwind), services growth/acceleration, and tailwinds from channel fill. While investors have been debating about implications/drivers behind short lead-times for iPhone X, we think this reflects supply chain bottlenecks being alleviated vs. tepid demand for iPhone X. Our positive bias on AAPL is driven by: a) iPhone ASP enabling upside to revenues; b) gross-margin upside from mix (services and iPhone memory); c) potential for lower tax-rate and buyback tailwinds; and d) F/X tailwinds (~30bps in Dec-qtr) should help revenues/GM’s, hedges could limit tailwind near-term.

Maintains Outperform rating, raises price target to $200 from $190.

My take: Two weeks before Apple's quarterly earnings report, you can expect to see more analysts dusting off their spreadsheets and fine-tuning their price targets.

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