BUZZ-Goldman adds Apple to conviction "buy" list
(Repeats to additional subscribers, no changes to text)
** Goldman Sachs adds Apple to its list of top picks in the Americas and sees potential for shares gaining as much as 43 pct from current levels
** Goldman says Apple's current valuations of about 11x earnings suggest investors, on average, view it as a "hardware" and "embodies the scars from prior fallen giants in hardware (Motorola, Nokia, BlackBerry, and HP, to name a few)"
** Apple's business model, however, has more in common with companies that monetize mobile users through content and services such as Facebook or Google, Goldman says
** Slowing iPhone 6s sales have weighed on Apple shares as well as shares of major supply chain companies and a weak March quarter is a common point of concern among analysts
** But Goldman sees weakness on the back of these near-term worries over a Y-o-Y unit decline as a very attractive buying opportunity for Apple shares and get in front of a potential re-rating from 11x to 15x forward earnings
** With overall smartphone sales slowing, particularly in China, Goldman sees the right question looking forward is : what will monetization look like over the next five years?
** Broker estimates that Apple will exit December with an installed base of 500mln iPhone users, which compares to 1.4bln Android users, 1.6bln Facebook users and 294mln Amazon users (RM: firstname.lastname@example.org)
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.