Apple Inc. (AAPL) said it is this week planning to reopen more than 25 of its U.S. stores after a two-month hiatus.
As of today, almost 100 of its stores globally have been able to open again. The iPhone maker has 510 stores worldwide and 271 in the U.S.
Some of the stores, which have been shut since mid-March to help contain the coronavirus spread, will let customers into the shops, while others will offer only curbside pickup service. However, Apple is still encouraging customers to purchase online where possible.
Apple has in recent weeks started to reopen stores in South Korea, Australia, and Germany.
The tech giant laid out safety and health and safety requirements to jumpstart the gradual reopening of its retail stores. As part of the effort, Apple will require its teams and customers to wear face coverings.
In addition, temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms – like cough or fever – or those who have had recent exposure to someone infected with Covid‑19. Furthermore, Apple is committed to conduct enhanced deep cleanings of all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas throughout the day.
Shares in Apple have recovered from this year’s low at the end of March, appreciating some 37% since. The stock rose 2.1% to $314.07 in pre-market trading.
Five-star analyst Daniel Ives at Wedbush maintained his Buy rating on the stock with a $350 price target, reflecting 14% upside potential over the coming year.
“With stores opening up to strong demand throughout Asia and a handful of US stores opening their doors, 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 with all eyes on the highly anticipated iPhone 12 launch later this year,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “In terms of the delayed 5G super cycle thesis with iPhone 12, we estimate that about 350 million of Apple’s 925 million iPhones worldwide are in this upgrade window which remains the linchpin to our longer-term bullish thesis for Cupertino over the next 12 to 18 months.”
TipRanks data shows that the bullish outlook is shared by a majority of the Wall Street analyst community. Out of 33 analysts, 26 assign Buys, 4 have Holds and 1 has a Sell. The $317.92 average price target though indicates a mere 3.3% upside potential in the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)
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