Apple is Said to Snap Up Startup NextVR For Virtual Reality Content; Top Analyst Sees Buying Opportunity

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is said to have bought virtual reality startup NextVR, for an undisclosed sum, Bloomberg reported.

NextVR provides content ranging from sports, music, and entertainment for virtual reality headsets. This also includes watching live events on VR headsets from PlayStation, HTC, Facebook Inc.’s (FB) Oculus, Google (GOOGL), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and others. The startup has deals with sports leagues including the National Basketball Association and entertainment networks such as Fox Sports, according to Bloomberg.

The news of the acquisition comes after website 9to5Mac first reported the deal in April putting its value at $100 million.

Apple has been on a buying spree this year with the purchases of Voysis, an Irish startup that focuses on voice technology, and Dark Sky, a popular weather app.

Shares in Apple have rallied 37% in the past two months and were trading at $307.71 as of the close on Friday.

Still, five-star analyst Daniel Ives at Wedbush raised his price target to $350 (14% upside potential) from $335 and maintained a Buy rating on the stock, based on “further confidence that the eye of the storm is in the rear view mirror for Apple from both a demand and supply chain perspective”.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the investment thesis on Apple for FY21 and beyond has remained on course to hit $60 billion+ of revenue annually although some darker days are still ahead with the global lockdown and dismal economic backdrop,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “Looking ahead, with stores opening up to strong demand throughout Asia and a handful of US stores opening up this week, coupled by a recovering supply chain which is on the path to normalization, it appears Apple is starting to lay the early groundwork for the next chapter of growth recovery in Cupertino.”

Ives said that he is encouraging investors to use the “near-term uncertainty as an opportunity to buy the stock for the other side of the dark valley”.

Turning now to the rest of the analyst community, TipRanks data shows that a bullish outlook prevails. Out of 33 Wall Street analysts, a majority of 28 assign Buys, 4 have Holds and 1 has a Sell. The $320.39 average price target is more cautious than Ives’ estimate as it foresees a mere 4.1% upside potential in the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)

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