– Chris Demasi
Last week Apple’s share price hit a new record and the market value of the company rose above $2 trillion for the first time. There’s still a lot to like, but we are proceeding with caution for now.
We can’t say that we are surprised by the rally in Apple shares and we’ve been backers of the stock for quite some time now. After all we believe that Apple will continue to win in a massive marketplace for digital devices and services that is being driven by the rapid digitalisation of consumers’ lives and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The importance of Apple to its user base was demonstrated in its recent quarterly earnings result. In a period where the world was coming to grips with a once-in-a-century pandemic, Apple grew its sales by 11% compared to the same period last year – a record June quarter performance.
iPhone sales returned to growth, and the Mac and IPad had standout results, growing 22% and 31% respectively, as more people shifted to work-from-home. Apple’s services business reached its multi-year target of doubling revenues from 2016 six months early and Apple now has over 550 million paid subscribers underpinning its growing base of recurring revenues.
But for now, we’ve lightened the holding of Apple in the long portfolios, to account for some nearer term risks. We recognise that as tensions between the US and China rise with President Trump ordering the sale or shutdown of social media app TikTok, Apple could be collateral damage in any retaliation by President Xi Jinping.
While Apple may sail through unscathed, the stock is certainly not pricing any hiccups (or worse) at its current price. We have rigorous valuation and risk/reward disciplines, and this is reflective of the process we follow to safeguard client capital and mange for its long-term compounding. We look forward to owning more of this winner again in time.
Apple stock price last five years
Chris Demasi is a Portfolio Manager with Montaka Global Investments. To learn more about Montaka, please call +612 7202 0100.