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Stocks

Battered Apple poised to lead FAANGs in 2019, veteran analyst Gene Munster says

  • Tech giant will be rewarded as investors focus more on revenue and earnings growth rather than iPhone unit sales
  • Success in safeguarding consumer data could also help
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 10:19am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 3:20pm

Move over, Netflix: Apple will be the best performing FAANG stock in 2019, according to veteran analyst Gene Munster.

Apple will be rewarded in the coming year as investors focus more on revenue and earnings growth rather than iPhone unit sales, said Loup Ventures’ Munster, who has covered the company for more than a decade. The Cupertino, California-based company will also benefit from excitement about a network upgrade in the US that could occur as soon as 2020.

With a few days to go in 2018, Apple is the second-worst performer in the group of large-cap internet and technology stocks. It has been a year that saw the iPhone maker become the first to reach a US$1 trillion market capitalisation and then lose its crown as the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft. Apple’s 7 per cent decline trailed Facebook, whose stock has fallen 24 per cent amid a slew of controversies. Netflix is up the most this year with a 32 per cent gain, followed by Amazon.com’s 26 per cent climb. Google parent Alphabet is off less than 1 per cent.

Apple’s success in safeguarding consumer data could also help the company in 2019, according to Munster, who predicts US lawmakers will pass data-privacy regulation. Munster expects Apple to spend US$1.4 billion on original television content in 2019 and release a streaming service late in the year.

To be sure, Munster’s biggest prediction for 2018 – that Amazon would buy Target – hasn’t panned out.