Tech

AirPods and Watch sales will continue to drive Apple's stock higher in 2020, Citi's Jim Suva says

Key Points
  • Strong sales of Apple's AirPods and Apple Watches will "surprise" investors when the company reports earnings in early 2020, Citi's Jim Suva said Monday.
  • The tech analyst said the strong demand will push the stock higher toward his $300 price target.
  • Apple has been the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2019.
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AirPods and watch sales will continue to drive Apple's stock higher in 2020, Citi's Jim Suva says

The strong sales of Apple's AirPods and Apple Watches will come as a "surprise" to investors when the company reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings in early 2020, Citi analyst Jim Suva told CNBC on Monday.

And it is why Apple's stock will continue to move higher next year toward his $300 price target, he said.

"Some of their products are selling out, and you have to wait to get them," Suva said on "Squawk Alley," referencing a "several-week delay" to get AirPods Pro around the holiday shopping season.

"It's not due to manufacturing issues," he added. "It's actually due to strong demand where the company can't keep up."

The demand for AirPods Pro is closely followed by interest in the Apple Watch Series 3, Suva said.

First released in 2017, the Apple Watch now has a lower starting price, around $199, than Apple's latest two models and therefore is attractive to teenagers and other bargain-oriented consumers, Suva said.

A man shows AirPods Pro at an Apple store on East Nanjing Road on October 30, 2019 in Shanghai, China. Apple's new AirPods Pro with active noise cancellation are on sale on October 30 in China.
Wang Gang | VCG | Getty Images

"Apple's wearables, we see that as being the big surprise for Apple when they report earnings in the next month or so," the tech analyst said.

Apple is expected to release its fiscal first-quarter earnings for 2020, which covers the 2019 holiday shopping season, on Feb. 4.

When Apple reported earnings in October, analysts were impressed with the roughly 50% growth in the wearables segment, which includes AirPods, the Apple Watch and headphones from the Beats brand.

It was the second consecutive quarter in which Apple posted such growth and provided evidence to analysts that Apple could continue to innovate beyond its flagship iPhone, which has seen declining sales in recent quarterly reports.

On a day with the three major indexes trading in the red, Apple's stock was up around 0.5% Monday at roughly $291 per share.

The stock is up roughly 84% year to date, making it the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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