Apple Stock Forecast

With a market capitalization of $2.49 trillion, Apple (AAPL) is the largest publicly-traded company in the world. The company sells everything from smartphones to wearable technology. Even if you aren’t an Apple user yourself, there’s no escaping its reach.
However, like many technology companies, Apple had supply chain issues and labor disruptions throughout the pandemic. It’s no surprise that the company’s stock price hasn’t performed as well over the past year as many investors hoped.
Looking ahead, Apple’s stock forecast is promising, but it faces an increasingly competitive market. Before investing your money in Apple, here is what you should know about the company’s past performance and future prospects.
How Did Apple Perform in 2022?
In 2022, Apple’s annual revenue was $394.3 billion, up 8% year over year.
Net sales also increased by 8%, driven by the launch of new products and services like the updated 14-inch MacBook Pro, the third-generation version of the popular AirPods, the launch of the iPhone 14 and the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 8. Apple also expanded its Apple TV+ offerings with shows like Ted Lasso, The Problem With Jon Stewart and Servant appealing to subscribers.
AAPL Stock Returns for 2022
Experts generally regard Apple as a blue chip stock—investments with proven histories of steady growth and returns.
But in 2022, its stock price dropped from a high of $182.88 on the year’s first trading day, Jan. 3, to close at $129.93 by the end of December—a decrease of nearly 29%—as the company continued to battle production and supply issues.
Despite those issues, Apple continued to pay dividends to stockholders. In November 2022, the last payment for the year, it paid dividends of $0.23 per share.
Apple’s Stock Performance Over the Past Five Years
Despite its recent challenges, Apple has historically been a strong performer. Compare it to the S&P 500, one of the broad stock market’s most popular indices.
Between March 1, 2018, and March 1, 2023, Apple’s closing stock price increased from $43.75 to $145.31–a 232% increase. During that same time period, the S&P 500 rose just 48%.
To put that in perspective, let’s say you wanted to invest $500 in 2018. If you had invested $500 in Apple stock in March 2018, your investment would be worth $1,660 today. But if you had invested $500 in the S&P 500 index in 2018, you’d have $738.
Opting to invest in Apple would allow your money to grow more than twice as much than if you had invested in the S&P 500.
Challenges and Opportunities Facing Apple
Apple is still one of the largest and best-known companies in the world. And many of its products dominate the market, from the iPhone to the iPad. But Apple does have some weaknesses that could affect it—and its stock price—in the coming years.
Apple’s Strengths
Name Recognition
Apple is a household brand name, and it’s the company people often think of when they’re considering buying a new phone or tablet.
Where other companies have to spend substantial amounts of money on advertising, Apple can spend far less, plowing the difference into development of new products and services.
While other technology companies have been plagued by viruses and spyware, those issues are relatively rare for Apple products.
As a result, its tablets and computers are generally considered to be safer and more reliable, giving Apple a major advantage over its competitors.
Product Diversity
Apple has a broad range of products, including everything from earbuds to advanced laptops. But it also has licensing agreements for its content stores, including Apple TV+ and Apple Music, and it even seems to be branching out into car manufacturing. The brand aims to launch a self-driving vehicle by 2026.
Apple’s Weaknesses
While Apple is the biggest player in the tech industry, it faces increasingly stiff competition.
Google, Microsoft and Dell are just some of the brands threatening Apple’s position. And its competitors are aggressive, slashing the prices of their products to appeal to consumers that hesitate to pay the higher prices Apple products demand.
As customers adjust their budgets, they may be less willing to pay the premium for Apple products and may switch to lower-cost alternatives.
Slowed Innovation
Apple built its reputation on innovation, but in recent years, it has been slow to introduce novel technologies.
Compared to competitors like Google or Samsung, Apple hasn’t delivered new tech or adapted to changing demand as quickly.
Supply Issues
During the pandemic, Apple was affected by major supply shortages and labor disruptions. Those issues continue to plague the company and could limit its ability to grow and innovate.
How Will Apple (AAPL) Perform Over the Next Few Years?
Despite the challenges Apple faces, its stock forecast is still strong. The consensus among analysts is that the company will perform well over the next few years, and it’s considered a “strong buy” based on a Nasdaq analysis of recommendations by 26 analysts. Analysts gave Apple a 12-month price target of $170.18.
Apple earnings per share are seen rising 10.60% in fiscal 2024 and 11.23% in fiscal 2025, according to Zacks Investment Research’s analysis of 12 analysts’ forecasts.
For long-term, buy-and-hold investors, Apple could be a good addition to your portfolio. However, whether Apple is a solid investment choice depends upon your portfolio’s mix.
Although Apple has previously performed well, its past results do not mean it will deliver similar results in the future. And while Apple managed to outperform the S&P 500 over the past five years, that doesn’t mean you should invest all of your money in Apple—or any single stock.
Investing experts still recommend diversifying your portfolio to reduce your level of risk and improve your odds of earning a solid return. Index funds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are all excellent ways to get exposure to Apple while diversifying your portfolio.