Goldman Sachs sees Apple's transition into services company driving stock to $163

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited November 2015
Goldman Sachs on Wednesday gave a ringing endorsement for Apple stock, telling investors that the iPhone Upgrade Program, Apple Music, and anticipated streaming television product will change how the market views the company.




For analyst Simona Jankowski, a live TV streaming service would be a "key enabler" for Apple, helping transition the company's business model into what she called "Apple-as-a-Service." The praise for Apple was detailed in a note to investors, which was summarized by Bloomberg.

"Theoretically, Apple could transition other products into installment plans as well, and charge customers a monthly bill that also includes its other services such as Apple TV and Music," Jankowski said.

Apple has even introduced a recurring revenue method for its best selling and most profitable product, in the form of the new iPhone Upgrade Program that launched in September. The service is an interest-free way for customers to pay off their new iPhone and AppleCare+ warranty over a two-year period, with the added option to upgrade their iPhone to the latest model every 12 months.

With Wednesday's upgrade, Goldman Sachs has added Apple to their "conviction buy" list. The firm has also set a 12-month price target of $163 for shares of AAPL.

The key factor for continued growth in the stock, according to Jankowski, is for investors to stop viewing --?and trading --?Apple as if it's a hardware company. Instead, if traders were to view Apple as a services company along the lines of rivals Google or Facebook, its stock would trade at a much higher price-to-earnings ratio.

As of Wednesday, shares of AAPL hovered above $115 in early morning trading. The company has a price-to-earnings ratio of just 12.33 trailing 12 months, compared to 30.57 for Google, and 105.55 for Facebook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,916member
    Similarly, I do not think that Apple will sell automobiles directly to consumers. I think they will sell transportation as a service. Basically, a more trustworthy, consistent, and higher-quality Uber.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    blastdoor wrote: »
    Similarly, I do not think that Apple will sell automobiles directly to consumers. I think they will sell transportation as a service. Basically, a more trustworthy, consistent, and higher-quality Uber.

    There's also likely a huge opportunity in autonomous delivery vehicles and other types of fleet vehicles. Uber (single trip) fleets is one area, but rental fleets would also be huge. Imagine a person on business, having their rental car meet them at the curb, take them to their hotel and to their business meetings, all pre-organized from a read of the traveler's schedule. Then dropping them back at the airport, and then pick up the next scheduled renter. Convenience, efficiency, greater utilization of the resource. Too compelling to not have the future unfold in this manner.

    And in answer to Sog, it would not be Apple who would own the vehicles; it would be the taxi and rental agencies who would own the fleets. Perhaps leased from Apple, or purchased on credit from Apple. Either way, Apple generates a recurring revenue stream that refreshes with the aging out of individual vehicles within these fleets.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    The report makes sense and taken on its face is a positive catalyst for the stock.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Stock up in a big way right off the open!! Fingers crossed that the market can't find its other shoe.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Geeez and this they found out NOW, I'm impressed - NOT! Of course hardware is just a piece of the equation you'll have to be blind not to see that. It could even turn out to be a small piece. And they call them themselves analysts, pathetic...
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Lets say you have a standard family of 4.  You could be a total Apple home lease.

     

    4 iPhones at $35 a month

    2 AppleTV's at $15 a month ( don't laugh, cable company charges 200% more for their cable boxes)

    1 iMac at $30 a month

    2 Macbooks at $30 a month

    4 iPads at $25 a month

    1 Apple Airport Time machine at $10 a month

    4 Apple watches at $15 a month

     

    Total hardware rental would be $380 a month and $4560 a year.  And every year you could get a brand new iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Every other year you could get a brand new iMac, Macbook, and AppleTV.  That would be so friken awesome.

     

    Now add to that Apple's total home services package for $119 that includes:

     

    1. Live TV package

    2. Apple Music

    3. Apple home automation/security

    4. iCloud 2TB for entire family

    5. Apple Games subscription (unlimited gaming on AppleTV)

     

    Total would be $6000 for a family of 4.  Or about $1,500 a year per person.

    Now multiply that by 700,000,000 users.

    That's over $1 trillion in revenue or 400% higher than FY2015 revenue.


    Maybe I am missing something but I don't think that the math would add up that way.

     

    I understand where you are going with your line of thinking and honestly something like that might be a great option for some people. Its a neat idea.

     

    But it wouldn't be totally new additional revenue. For every "Apple Home Lease" as you call it, there would be that equivalent amount of products not sold outright at retail. 

     

    Like leasing a car, every car leased is one less car sold outright. Either way the Company is making money but that money is shifting from one column to another.

     

    Structured properly, leasing can certainly make more money for the Company than selling. Especially if the Company can bundle in additional products and services that may go unused or gently used. And/or if they are their own bank in the process, which Apple could easily do.

     

    Fun to think about.  

  • Reply 7 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I have to laugh at this research note. Aside from the iPhone upgrade program (which is just mirroring what carriers were already starting to do) there is little evidence Apple is becoming a services company. Below is what Tim Cook said last week about a streaming TV service:


    [quote]Is Apple set to launch its own content subscription streaming service? “We will see. The key question for us is: can we do something better, that acts as a catalyst? If we conclude that we can, then we would. But I wouldn’t do something just to do something.”[/quote]

    That doesn't sound to me like Apple is anywhere close to launching a streaming tv service.

    I'd love it if Apple went to a model where all their products were on installment plans or for a monthly fee you could choose the products and services you wanted. But we have yet to see any evidence of that outside of iPhone. Basically this research note is fantasy land trying to reassure the nervous nellies who are constantly worried about iPhone sales.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    sog35 wrote: »
    Lets say you have a standard family of 4.  You could be a total Apple home lease.

    4 iPhones at $35 a month
    2 AppleTV's at $15 a month ( don't laugh, cable company charges 200% more for their cable boxes)
    1 iMac at $30 a month
    2 Macbooks at $30 a month
    4 iPads at $25 a month
    1 Apple Airport Time machine at $10 a month
    4 Apple watches at $15 a month

    Total hardware rental would be $380 a month and $4560 a year.  And every year you could get a brand new iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Every other year you could get a brand new iMac, Macbook, and AppleTV.  That would be so friken awesome.

    Now add to that Apple's total home services package for $119 that includes:

    1. Live TV package
    2. Apple Music
    3. Apple home automation/security
    4. iCloud 2TB for entire family
    5. Apple Games subscription (unlimited gaming on AppleTV)

    Total would be $6000 for a family of 4.  Or about $1,500 a year per person.
    Now multiply that by 700,000,000 users.
    That's over $1 trillion in revenue or 400% higher than FY2015 revenue.

    Now add in ApplePay
    Now add in AppleCar leases at $400-$500 a month
    Now add in App store purchases
    Now add in Accessories purchases

    I'm making a bold prediction right now.  Once Apple is entrenched in the home with AppleTV I predict they will challange Amazon in the internet retail business. You heard it here first.

    Um, yeah, no. Most of the 700m people have iPhones but most do not even come close to having all of what you listed. I get where you're going but you're way off on the total.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I have to laugh at this research note. Aside from the iPhone upgrade program (which is just mirroring what carriers were already starting to do) there is little evidence Apple is becoming a services company. 

     

    To be a services company, they first need to iron out their cloud services. Way too inconsistent and outtages.

    They're better than a few years back, but not as solid as Google, MS, and Amazon.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I agree. 

    My total figure of $1 trillion was not incremental revenue but total revenue if everyone did Apple leases. I was counting outright hardware sales as $0 a year.  Even with that revenue could grow 400% compared to what it is now.

    If Apple was seriously thinking about this how come the new iPad Pro doesn't have an installment plan option?
  • Reply 11 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I disagree 100%

    The move to services is obvious.

    If Apple was wiling to put the iPhone (thier most important product) on a lease plan they won't hesitate to add iPad, Mac, and Watch once they figure out the details.

    AppleMusic, ApplePay, App Store, new emphasis on video games all point to an increased move to services revenue.

    Did you know that Apple Services headed by Eddy Cue has more annual revenue than THE ENTIRE HOLLYWOOD MOVIE INDUSTRY?  Friken amazing. And this is only the start.

    iPhone was obvious. Carriers were already going down this path (I was on the AT&T Next program prior to doing Apple's iPhone upgrade program).
  • Reply 12 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    satchmo wrote: »
    To be a services company, they first need to iron out their cloud services. Way too inconsistent and outtages.
    They're better than a few years back, but not as solid as Google, MS, and Amazon.

    Apple's hardware is rock solid. Their services still leave plenty to be desired. I don't think anyone can argue that Apple's cloud services are best in class.
    jackansi
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    I agree. 

     

    My total figure of $1 trillion was not incremental revenue but total revenue if everyone did Apple leases. I was counting outright hardware sales as $0 a year.  Even with that revenue could grow 400% compared to what it is now.


    OK. I am still sticking with that its a neat idea.

     

    Making it highly customizable with individual plans that automatically adjust depending on what you tack on could be a winner. Especially if you didn't need to take everything at one time. Instead your monthly payment would simply adjust accordingly as more or less products are involved.

     

    I know that is a little bit more complicated but there really aren't that many SKU's for Apple products and they could easily assign a "lease" value to every SKU over time.

     

    EDIT: By "over time" I mean by the length of the lease. Say 1,2,3 years depending on the product.

  • Reply 14 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,916member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I disagree.

    I don't think Apple wants the liability and inventory expense of owning millions of electric cars.

    Kind of like how Apple wouldn't want the inventory expense or the employee expense of owning a bunch of retail stores.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Dude you should know how Apple operates.  They never jump into something without due diligence.

    They are testing the waters with the iPhone this year.  If its a success they will expand the leasing program to iPad, Mac, and Watch.


    I just think its a friken amazing future if I can make a simple monthly payment and get new iPhone, Watch, and iPad every year.  And a new AppleTV and Mac every other year.  And with everything saved in the cloud it would be no big deal to upgrade devices and migrate all your files. 

    If people are willing to lease $50,000 cars why not lease iPhone/iPad/Mac?  Makes too much sense.

    The challange is if Apple can sell those used iPad, Watches, and Mac's.  The secondary market for iPhones are very strong.  Not sure about Mac/Watch/iPad.

    Look I'm not disagreeing with the idea. I'm just saying we don't really have evidence that's where Apple is heading and iPhone doesn't really count as Apple is just doing what the carriers already stated. So before people wet themeslves over this idea (and because the stock is up $3) today lets come back to reality. When I see Apple add another hardware product to an installment plan then maybe I'll believe they're really serious about it. The next logical choice would be to offer an iPhone/Apple Watch bundle.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,916member
    There's also likely a huge opportunity in autonomous delivery vehicles and other types of fleet vehicles. Uber (single trip) fleets is one area, but rental fleets would also be huge. Imagine a person on business, having their rental car meet them at the curb, take them to their hotel and to their business meetings, all pre-organized from a read of the traveler's schedule. Then dropping them back at the airport, and then pick up the next scheduled renter. Convenience, efficiency, greater utilization of the resource. Too compelling to not have the future unfold in this manner.

    And in answer to Sog, it would not be Apple who would own the vehicles; it would be the taxi and rental agencies who would own the fleets. Perhaps leased from Apple, or purchased on credit from Apple. Either way, Apple generates a recurring revenue stream that refreshes with the aging out of individual vehicles within these fleets.

    I actually think that Apple would own the vehicles and directly employ the people who drive them (until, of course, they become autonomous).

    It is for the same reason Apple prefers to own their own retail stores and directly employ their own employees, rather than relying on Best Buy et al.

    Also, I think that a key reason for Apple providing transportation as a service rather than selling cars is that electric cars are expensive and incinvenient. The issues of range and charging time are not going away anytime soon. But those issues can be mitigated in a fleet context.

    I bet Apple starts in CA first, then expands gradually. The policy environment in CA is much more favorable than most other places.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,916member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Huge difference between the liability of a retail store than MILLIONS of electric vehicles in the streets that could lead to fatalities.  Tell me the last time someone died in an Apple Store?  

    Liability seems like a bizarre thing to worry about. If the local taxi company can handle the liability expenses of providing car service, then I'm sure Apple can too. Actually, Apple just might be big enough to get a really good deal on insurance.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    rogifan wrote: »
    If Apple was seriously thinking about this how come the new iPad Pro doesn't have an installment plan option?

    Because you don't blur the message by coming out with a new product, with a new set of use cases and at the same time test leasing against it. Apple moves slowly and methodically, and only when it sees great advantage or need.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    Here's a poorly kept secret of private equity valuations that spills over into the public markets. Product revenue, because it's lumpy and not entirely guaranteed to continue, gets a 4x revenue multiplier. Note that Apple's market cap, for years, has floated around 3-4x revenues. Recurring revenue, like subscriptions and automatically renewing leases, because they are predictable and, well, recurring, gets a 7x multiple. Note that NFLX's market cap is exactly 7x its revenue. So Apple has a huge incentive to convert as much of its revenue stream to a recurring model, using both subscriptions and leasing. This process will only accelerate, along the lines Sog has outlined, as Apple feels its way into these revenue models and gathers massive data from its experiences.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    blastdoor wrote: »
    I actually think that Apple would own the vehicles and directly employ the people who drive them (until, of course, they become autonomous).

    It is for the same reason Apple prefers to own their own retail stores and directly employ their own employees, rather than relying on Best Buy et al.

    Also, I think that a key reason for Apple providing transportation as a service rather than selling cars is that electric cars are expensive and incinvenient. The issues of range and charging time are not going away anytime soon. But those issues can be mitigated in a fleet context.

    I bet Apple starts in CA first, then expands gradually. The policy environment in CA is much more favorable than most other places.

    I don't see Apple directly getting into the taxi and rental car businesses, hiring staff, opening desks at airports, directly maintaining and insuring fleets of vehicles for lease directly to the public. These businesses aren't where the money is to be made or the focus should be placed. Creating the best vehicles for this purpose is how Apple will participate.
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