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Apple's stock is 'cheap' but the iPhone maker needs a 'killer' app or product soon

Key Points
  • Apple's stock is "cheap" for now, says King Lip of Baker Avenue Asset Management.
  • Lip discussed the need for Apple to innovate, highlighting that the company needs "some sort of a killer app or killer product" in the next 12 months.
  • Apple reported earnings for its fiscal first quarter on Tuesday, which came in largely in line with expectations.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Apple's stock is "cheap" at the moment, but the iPhone maker needs to innovate in order to return to strong growth, according to one analyst who spoke to CNBC on Wednesday after the company reported earnings that were largely in line with expectations.

"The stock is cheap, I mean, it's selling at low multiples," King Lip, chief strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

"The reason why we think it's selling at low multiples, frankly, is because the growth of the company is slower," he said. "It does appear and very clear to us that, you know, Apple's historic robust double-digit growth is behind the company and at least in the short-term, it doesn't appear that there's any catalyst to turn them around."

Lip's comments came after Apple released its fiscal first quarter earnings after-hours on Tuesday.

The earnings were reported under a new structure, offering gross margin figures for its services and products segments and withholding unit sales numbers for its most popular products, such as the iPhone. The new structure, announced in November, was intended to shift focus from the iPhone to other growth metrics.

I mean, 900 million iPhones, there's a lot of services that can sell through that.
King Lip
chief strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management

Apple slashed its guidance for the quarter earlier this month, citing weaker than expected iPhone sales and a weakening economy in China.

CEO Tim Cook acknowledged in the post-earnings conference call that customers are "holding on to their older iPhones a bit longer than in the past."

As sales of its iPhone slows, the company has attempted to shift investors' focus toward its fastest growing segment: services. The company reported Tuesday that it has 900 million iPhones in active usage.

"If the company can't leverage off of that, you know, management ... needs to be replaced. I mean, 900 million iPhones, there's a lot of services that can sell through that," Lip said, citing examples such as Apple Pay and Apple Music.

Beyond that, he added, Apple needs to innovate. "We really need some sort of a killer app or killer product coming from Apple in the next ... six to 12 months."

This view was echoed by Daniel Flax, senior research analyst at Neuberger Berman, who spoke to CNBC ahead of the earnings release.

"The Apple Watch, the AirPods, these demonstrate that Apple is actually continuing to innovate and we think that's critical to ultimately creating value for their customers and of course their shareholders over the medium term," Flax said.

Highlighting the need for Apple to "constantly reinvent itself," Flax said: "We like the stock here, we think they've additional value that the management team can create over the next couple of years."

— CNBC's Sara Salinas and Weizhen Tan contributed to this report.