Apple Pushes For India Scheme Amid Plan For iPad Production – Report

Apple Inc. is interested in participating in a new scheme to boost India’s exports of computer products, part of what government and industry sources say are plans to bring iPad tablet production to the South Asian country, Reuters has learnt.

According to the Reuters report, the Indian government is working on a plan to offer a new performance-linked incentive scheme to drive local manufacturing of IT products including tablets, servers, and laptops.

Apple (AAPL) is lobbying for a higher budget outlay of 200 billion rupees before the new incentive plan is finalized, Reuters said. The new performance-linked incentive scheme will have a budget of up to $964.5 million over five years and will offer cash-back to manufacturers for exports. This scheme is expected to be launched by the end of this month.

Apple has been steadily increasing its production of iPhones in India to reduce the company’s dependence on Chinese manufacturers, according to Reuters. Last year, India had launched a plan worth $6.7 billion to boost smartphone exports and Apple had participated in the scheme through its contract manufacturers, the report said.

Meanwhile, Apple’s most recent 1Q earnings saw its largest revenues in a single quarter, exceeding the $100 billion milestone for the first time, driven by strong sales in every product category, especially 5G iPhone sales. The company’s iPad revenues soared 41% to $8.44 billion year-over-year and exceeded analysts’ estimates of $7.46 billion. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)

On Feb. 16, Raymond James analyst Chris Caso reiterated a Buy rating on the stock. Caso stated, “…our analysis demonstrates that iPhone units have run a cumulative 55 million units below a 215 million unit trendline in FY19 and FY20, thereby creating an opportunity for mean reversion as the installed base ages.”

“And we see a reason for that installed base to upgrade, with better global 5G penetration later this year, and improved phone features, such as the return of fingerprint sensing. Net, if we assume that mean reversion allows a return to a prior peak iPhone unit number of 231 million units at current ASPs [average selling price], that would drive FY22 iPhone revenue over $200 billion, or 10% in excess of current expectations,” Caso added.

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 19 analysts recommending a Buy, 5 analysts suggesting a Hold, and 2 analysts recommending a Sell. The average analyst price target of $149.70 implies 14.4% upside potential to current levels.

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