Here's what major analysts are saying about Apple's new iPhones: 'Higher-than-expected pricing'

Apple iPhone XR and iPhone XS smartphones are displayed during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. 
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple shares rose slightly on Thursday after Wall Street analysts said they were satisfied but not wowed by the iPhone maker's latest rollout of new phones on Wednesday.

Apple shares gained 0.6 percent in premarket trading.

Here's what the Street's top analysts thought about Apple's latest technology lineup.

Goldman Sachs (neutral):

"Apple rolled out new iPhones as expected but the new LCD "XR" model was priced lower than we had thought likely. This effectively obsoletes two iPhone 8/8+ SKUs in our opinion and drives us to reduce our ASP and earnings estimates, offset slightly by a higher unit forecast. We see the lower price as evidence that Apple is pushing aggressively to move users onto more secure Face ID which may foreshadow Apple Pay enhancements in 2019. We also see the rollout of 512GB memory options on the new XS models as surprising and potentially indicative of changing thinking on the iCloud Storage penetration strategy."

Morgan Stanley (overweight):

"Today's product event largely met our expectations heading into the event. While this iPhone launch was marketed as an 'S' cycle, iPhone ASPs and larger storage SKUs across the portfolio surprised to the upside, as did the inclusion of dual-SIM capabilities. On the negative side, the availability date for the iPhone XR (October 26th) was a bit later than we expected but still in-line with last year's iPhone X availability date. We don't see the later ship date materially impacting unit demand in C2H18, particularly given most early adopters will skew to the XS Max, in our view. While we keep our FY19 unit expectations unchanged, we raise our FY19 iPhone ASP estimate to $793, up 6% Y/Y vs. our prior estimate of $739."

Nomura Instinet (neutral):

"Apple's new 2019 iPhone models were well previewed and thus we see no reason to lift our unit assumptions; a modest reduction may indeed prove prudent. The notable deviation from our expectations is that the OLED Xs and Xs Max models are priced well above our expectation. Further Watch improvements were also matched by ASP increases. We retain our estimates pending our work into order patterns post launch."

Bank of America (buy):

"Apple launched two new OLED iPhones as well as a new 6.1" LCD iPhone (XR). Pricing for XS Max starts at $1,099, XS at $999 and XR at $749, all for the lowest storage configurations. Apple added a 512GB storage option for the OLED models, which takes the high-end ASP to $1,449/$1,349 for the XS Max/XS. We adjust our estimates to account for higher storage options that drive some upside to our current ASPs, which are already higher than Street ASPs, and for the discontinuance of iPhone SE and 6S. Our price objective moves to $256 (from $250) on 17x C19E EPS of $14.68."

Piper Jaffray (overweight):

"A broader spectrum of choices for next gen form factor iPhones will drive unit upside vs. current consensus in FY19. Regarding iPhone ASP, based on the new lineup, unit mix assumptions drive our ASP estimate higher, resulting in upwardly revised overall revenue and EPS for Apple in FY19E & '20E. The launch of a wider array of 'X-gen' iPhones is providing an iPhone user base that is on an aging installed base of devices with more choices to upgrade to the new form factor. Based on this, we recommend owning AAPL for the "super-long" cycle involving an ongoing multi-year move to the 'Xgen' iPhone lineup."

KeyBanc Capital Markets (sector weight):

"Apple's iPhone event continued its strategy to leverage pricing to extract margin from the least elastic portions of the market. We believe this will largely work through FY19, but believe it will be challenged in FY20, unless the Company can introduce new features beyond screen size that consumers demand. Higher than-expected pricing drives a slight increase to our estimates. Our Sector Weight rating is unchanged."

Guggenheim Securities (buy):

"Apple refreshed iPhones as expected and we highlight: 1) no change to our expectation for modest reacceleration in iPhone UNIT growth to +2%Y/Y in FY19E from 0%Y/Y in FY18E, driven by larger screen sizes in both the 6.5" XS Max and new 6.1" LCDbased XR, and 2) starting PRICE of the XR came right in line with our $749 estimate, which was higher than most early speculation. AAPL stock is +31% YTD vs. the NDX +17% and ASP increases now moderate, but we tick our PT another $10 to $245."


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