Technology giant Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is set to release third-quarter fiscal 2017 results on August 1 after market close. Since Apple accounts for over 19% of the total market capitalization of the entire technology sector in the S&P 500 index, it is worth taking a look at the company’s fundamentals ahead of its results.
Apple has been on an uptrend since the start of the start of the year, returning about 29% compared with the industry’s gain of 28.4%. The upside is expected to continue as Apple is poised to beat our earnings estimate as per the Zacks methodology and has attractive fundamentals (read: Tech ETFs on Fire as Q2 Earnings Season Heats Up).
Inside Our Methodology
Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of +1.27%, indicating reasonable chances of beating estimates this quarter. According to our surprise prediction methodology, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 when combined with a positive Earnings ESP has chances of an earnings beat. A Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) is best avoided going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
While the stock saw no earnings estimate revision over the past 30 days, its earnings surprise history is strong. It has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 2.77% over the past four quarters. Apple is expected to post substantial earnings growth of 10.56% and revenue growth of 5.55% in the fiscal third quarter. Further, Apple flaunts a solid Value Style Score of B and a Growth Style Score of C but its Momentum Style Score of F looks ugly. Plus, the industry outlook is encouraging with the Zacks Rank in the top 24%. As a result, an earnings beat could lead to higher share price (read: A Feast of ETFs with Apple on Plate).
According to the analysts compiled by Zacks, Apple has an average target price of $164.94 with about 71% of the analysts having a Strong Buy or a Buy rating ahead of its earnings. This indicates a 10.3% upside to the current price of AAPL.
What’s In Store?
As supply chain issues alarmed investors’ lately and users are desperately waiting for the launch of iPhone 8 around September, the company might see some weakness in iPhone sales for the to-be-reported quarter. However, this might not be a big concern as iPhone 8 could lead to a bigger sales number next quarter.
Additionally, the service segment, which includes revenues from App store, Apple Music and Apple Pay, will continue to grow.
ETFs on Radar
Given the above discussion, an earnings beat might be in store for Apple in the upcoming report. As a result, investors’ could definitely focus on ETFs having the largest allocation to the tech titan. While there are several ETFs in the space having Apple in their top 10 holdings, we have highlighted five technology funds that have Apple as their top firm (see: all the Technology ETFs here):
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW - Free Report) – The fund is up 21.2% since the start of the year and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 or ‘Strong Buy’ rating with a Medium risk outlook. Apple makes up for 17.3% of the assets.
Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF (XLK - Free Report) – The fund has added 18.8% in the same time frame and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 or ‘Buy’ rating with a Medium risk outlook. Apple accounts for 14.6% share.
Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT - Free Report) – It has surged about 21.3% and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 with a Medium risk outlook. Here, AAPL takes 14% share (read: Technology ETF Hits New 52-Week High).
MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC - Free Report) – This ETF has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 with a Medium risk outlook and has gained 21.2%. Apple has 13.9% allocation.
iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Technology ETF (TCHF - Free Report) - The product is up 18.5% so far this year and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2. Apple accounts for 13.6% allocation.
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