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Why Apple Remains a Top Pick: Insights into AAPL’s Growth Trajectory

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 results showcased what comes from a dynamic product landscape. The tech giant’s iPhone segment saw modest growth after the launch of the new model. Unsurprisingly, the Services unit excelled for AAPL stock but its Mac division faced a revenue decline. Insights into the current quarter and potential revenue growth catalysts follow.

Owning Apple stock is a must for a diversified portfolio. Challenges exist, but in 2024, the potential gains make it essential. Apple, as the world’s largest company, has proven time and again that it remains poised to overcome obstacles and thrive.

Optimistic Expectations from Apple Services and Products

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives recently maintained a positive stance on Apple, citing strong Asian supply-chain data supporting optimism about iPhone 15 demand. Fiscal 2023 saw revenue declines in most regions, notably 7% in Japan and 4% in the Americas. However, Greater China and Europe showed more stable figures, and the “Rest of Asia Pacific” segment exhibited 1% revenue growth.

Notably, while the Americas and Europe performed well, Greater China, constituting almost 19% of net sales (and other Asian regions at 33%) play a crucial role when understanding Apple’s revenue mix. Anticipating a modest uptick in iPhone revenue, analyst Daniel Ives cites strong e-commerce holiday spending in 2023, with Cyber Monday sales up 9.6%, Cyber Week sales rising 7.8%, and Black Friday sales growing around 7.5%.

Apple’s resilient Services segment and positive iPhone sales outlook align with Tigress Financial’s Ivan Feinseth, projecting a 26% upside for Apple’s stock. Anticipating a recovery in Mac units, the company’s overall sales outlook remains slightly positive. It’s anticipated that Apple will produce roughly $118 billion in net sales during the December-ending quarter. Despite a substantial increase from previous quarters, seasonality may result in a modest 0.75% year-over-year revenue growth, thought that is still growth.

Streaming Bundle with Paramount

Media stocks surged after reports surfaced that Apple and Paramount Global engaged in preliminary discussions to bundle their streaming services. The potential offering, featuring Apple TV+ and Paramount+, aims to provide cost savings compared to separate subscriptions.

Paramount shares surged nearly 10%, and Warner Bros. Discovery, owner of Max streaming service, gained over 8% on Friday. Paramount, down about 6% for the year, contrasts with Warner Bros. Discovery, up approximately 19% after reporting a streaming profit in Q3. 

Paramount+ and Apple TV+ present a potential bundle opportunity with their distinct content approaches. Apple TV+ focuses on exclusive, high-quality content, and Paramount+ features a vast catalog of well-known TV shows and movies.

The media industry buzzes about bundling streaming services, which is evident via recent discounted monthly deals by other major streaming players. Liberty Media Chairman John Malone explores streaming bundles’ potential, while Disney offers a Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ bundle. Disney’s agreement with Charter, giving Spectrum customers access to ad-supported Disney+, signals a broader trend. 

Paramount, facing revenue decline and streaming losses, sees potential in an Apple partnership, an opportunity for the company’s strategic shift amid a changing media landscape.

Don’t Wait, Buy AAPL Stock Now

I wouldn’t say AAPL stock is a screaming buy right now. After all, this is a former growth stock transitioning toward a mature tech player trading at more than 30 times earnings.

However, potential catalysts like holiday sales could spur Apple’s revenue growth. The outlook remains somewhat uncertain, with a turnaround possible in the next quarter but lacking absolute clarity. Despite short-term challenges, Apple’s robust operations suggest a likely growth resurgence, possibly in the single-digit range. I’m of the view that this stock is a buy on any dips, and is worth at least keeping on the watch list right now.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald has a LONG position in AAPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.