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苹果真的是成长型股票吗?

苹果真的是成长型股票吗?

Shawn Tully 2020年08月07日
投资者享受的回报率只有不足6%。

苹果公布的第三财季业绩表现强劲,赢得华尔街一片赞誉,股价也大幅上涨,创下新高,苹果股票的潜在投资者所面临的难题也随之突显出来。

对于热情的追捧者而言,7月30日收盘后公布的第三财季业绩标志着苹果的快速增长进入一个新阶段。2019年第三季度的业绩增长尤其令人印象深刻,因为人们最关注的就是这些数字。报告显示,第三财季营收较去年同期增长11%,达到597亿美元,其中,包括App Store销售佣金在内的利润率较高的业务更是实现了近14%的涨幅。鉴于苹果首席执行官蒂姆·库克曾发出警示称苹果在中国的销售业绩可能会有所下滑,因此,第三财季中中国市场的小幅增长算是一个意外的惊喜。每股盈利2.58美元,自由现金流160亿美元,双双缔造季度最佳纪录。

报告几乎赢得了分析师一片唱多欢呼,许多分析师都上调了苹果的目标价。加拿大皇家银行分析师罗伯特·穆勒将未来12个月的预测目标价从390美元上调至440美元,Wedbush分析师丹尼尔·艾夫斯称赞苹果取得了“井喷式”的增长表现,并重申了他给出的450美元的市场价,这个价格比7月29日385美元的收盘价还要高出17%。CNBC颇受欢迎的下午5点档节目《Fast Money》的四名交易员都给出了极高的评价。节目嘉宾、Loup Ventures创始人、科技投资者吉恩·蒙斯特称苹果股价“仍然相对便宜”,并预计未来可达到10%至15%的增长,市盈率将与Facebook和Alphabet不相上下。和苹果的众多支持者一样,蒙斯特也预测苹果新款5G iPhone的发布将开启新一轮的扩张超级周期。基金经理和分析师认为,首席财务官卢卡·马埃斯特里在电话会议上给出的最新消息称,新款iPhone将推迟几周发布,预计发布时间在10月份,但这只是一个小小的遗憾。

7月30日,苹果股价上涨10.5%,以每股425美元创历史新高,市值增加逾1750亿美元,达到1.84万亿美元。苹果一个交易日的收益就相当于英特尔87%的市值。

如果事实证明预期的“iPhone 12”引发市场轰动,并且苹果不断推出超级畅销产品,那么苹果就可能会产生保持其股价快速增长所需的巨额收益。但在这种令人兴奋的估值下,如果苹果不能达到这个水平,现在购买苹果股票的投资者就会面临一段艰难的旅程。简而言之,第三季度的良好业绩还远远不能有力证明苹果正在步入一个快速增长的持久阶段。

因为放在更长的时期内来看,苹果的销售额和利润只实现了最低限度的年度增长,这让人怀疑它是否能突然重塑为成长型股票的新形象。过去12个月的表现也不例外。对于投资者来说,问题在于,从2019年年中开始,苹果股价出现大幅上涨,而这种上涨很大程度上并非受利润增长推动,而是因为投资者和基金交易股票所支付的成本急剧攀升,换句话说,市盈率激增使得这样的一次性交易成本变得过于昂贵。

要理解苹果是如何从一款绝佳的投资产品变成一场高价赌博,比较有意义的做法就是看看它在过去五年里截至6月份的四个季度的收益和股价的演变历程。在这个时间框架内,我们可以将苹果刚刚结束的12个月的年化表现与2015年6月至2019年6月同期的全年表现进行比较。正如我们看到的那样,基本面和股价几年来一直徘徊不前,直到估值一飞冲天。

截至2015年6月的一年时间里,苹果公布的净利润为508亿美元,每股收益8.66美元。125美元的股价下,市盈率为14.6,股息收益率1.7%。这些指标不禁让人要尖叫着“买入!”为什么呢?因为苹果最大的优势在于,虽然它的历史收益只略微跑赢通胀,但它通过回购的形式返还给股东的收益至少达到了100%。因此,在2015年,由于市盈率如此之低,苹果花在回购上的每一美元都起到了很大的作用,每股收益因此提高了6.8美分,即6.8%。加上1.7%的股息,假设收益增长2%,你的总回报率将是10.5%。这意味着市盈率将保持在同样温和的低于15的水平。在这个微不足道的倍数上再加几个点,回报率会更高。

一年后,也就是2017年6月,苹果的股价更低。市盈率曾降至11。但在截至2017年、2018年和2019年年中的这三个时期,市盈率都在16.4到16.9之间,股息收益率1.6%到1.7%,这意味着即使苹果几乎没有增长,你也能获得10%的年回报率。

2019年年中开始出现巨变。从去年6月到2020年7月30日,苹果股价从198美元飙升至425美元,涨幅达115%。自2015年6月以来的增幅高达240%。投资者应该担心的是,在这五年中,每股收益的增长速度还不到增幅的四分之一,从8.66美元升至13.17美元,涨幅为52%。因此,苹果股价在过去五年里几乎上涨了3.5倍,最重要的驱动因素却不是利润的提高,而是市盈率增加了一倍多,从14.6上涨到目前的32.3。

事实上,从2015年年中到今年第三季度,苹果总利润每年仅增长2.1%,从508亿美元增长到553亿美元。每股收益提高很大程度上来自于公司史上规模最大的一系列股票回购。令人震惊的是,五年时间里苹果花费了3370亿美元用于回购,将其流通股从57.3亿股降至目前的43.5亿股,占同期每股收益涨幅的60%以上。

尽管新的第三季度财报业绩喜人,但实际上苹果的总利润在接下来的四个季度里持平,从557美元略降至553亿美元。苹果每股收益12%的增长完全来自于更大规模的回购。利润呈现略微的逆市而上。从较长的四个季度来看,营收增长了5.8%,远不如备受赞誉的第三季度11%的增幅令人印象深刻。

苹果前景

投资者从现在开始可以预期的收益与2015年年中的前景预测相比,假设苹果的收益遵循与通胀持平的长期趋势。以现在的32.3倍市盈率计算,用于回购的每一美元回报率为3.1美分或3.1%,不足五年前6.8%的一半。股息收益率从1.7%缩水至0.77%。使用这些参数计算,投资者未来可以预期的总回报率为5.9%(3.1%来自于回购,股息收益0.77%,外加2%的利润增长)。现在苹果被定价为“成长型股票”,与其被成为价值股的日子相比,你获得的回报可能会降低40%。

然而,如果苹果的市盈率保持现在的32.3倍,这比2019年年中17倍以下的市盈率高出90%,那么投资者享受的回报率只有不足6%。五年前,对于投资者而言,苹果市盈率可能缩水几乎不构成任何风险,因为这个市盈率实在太低了,并且投资者相当看好苹果的市盈率会增长。事实确实如此。如今,投资者面临着一个新的风险:苹果未来不会如拥护者期望的那般实现两位数的利润增长,一旦这一点明朗化,市盈率将重新回到价值范畴。不断下降的溢价将超过来自于回购的每股收益,继而出现股价暴跌。

苹果是一家了不起的公司,这一趋势并没有发生改变。并且直到一年前,苹果还是一款绝佳的投资产品。苹果后期表现如何尚不可知,但推动其股价飙升的动力决定了苹果需要怎么做才能实现更具挑战性的业绩、让投资者赚钱。

在这一片看好中,这些拥护者已经把门槛定得太高了,甚至就连苹果也难以给出达到他们期望的回报。(188金宝搏 下载)

译者:唐尘

苹果公布的第三财季业绩表现强劲,赢得华尔街一片赞誉,股价也大幅上涨,创下新高,苹果股票的潜在投资者所面临的难题也随之突显出来。

对于热情的追捧者而言,7月30日收盘后公布的第三财季业绩标志着苹果的快速增长进入一个新阶段。2019年第三季度的业绩增长尤其令人印象深刻,因为人们最关注的就是这些数字。报告显示,第三财季营收较去年同期增长11%,达到597亿美元,其中,包括App Store销售佣金在内的利润率较高的业务更是实现了近14%的涨幅。鉴于苹果首席执行官蒂姆·库克曾发出警示称苹果在中国的销售业绩可能会有所下滑,因此,第三财季中中国市场的小幅增长算是一个意外的惊喜。每股盈利2.58美元,自由现金流160亿美元,双双缔造季度最佳纪录。

报告几乎赢得了分析师一片唱多欢呼,许多分析师都上调了苹果的目标价。加拿大皇家银行分析师罗伯特·穆勒将未来12个月的预测目标价从390美元上调至440美元,Wedbush分析师丹尼尔·艾夫斯称赞苹果取得了“井喷式”的增长表现,并重申了他给出的450美元的市场价,这个价格比7月29日385美元的收盘价还要高出17%。CNBC颇受欢迎的下午5点档节目《Fast Money》的四名交易员都给出了极高的评价。节目嘉宾、Loup Ventures创始人、科技投资者吉恩·蒙斯特称苹果股价“仍然相对便宜”,并预计未来可达到10%至15%的增长,市盈率将与Facebook和Alphabet不相上下。和苹果的众多支持者一样,蒙斯特也预测苹果新款5G iPhone的发布将开启新一轮的扩张超级周期。基金经理和分析师认为,首席财务官卢卡·马埃斯特里在电话会议上给出的最新消息称,新款iPhone将推迟几周发布,预计发布时间在10月份,但这只是一个小小的遗憾。

7月30日,苹果股价上涨10.5%,以每股425美元创历史新高,市值增加逾1750亿美元,达到1.84万亿美元。苹果一个交易日的收益就相当于英特尔87%的市值。

如果事实证明预期的“iPhone 12”引发市场轰动,并且苹果不断推出超级畅销产品,那么苹果就可能会产生保持其股价快速增长所需的巨额收益。但在这种令人兴奋的估值下,如果苹果不能达到这个水平,现在购买苹果股票的投资者就会面临一段艰难的旅程。简而言之,第三季度的良好业绩还远远不能有力证明苹果正在步入一个快速增长的持久阶段。

因为放在更长的时期内来看,苹果的销售额和利润只实现了最低限度的年度增长,这让人怀疑它是否能突然重塑为成长型股票的新形象。过去12个月的表现也不例外。对于投资者来说,问题在于,从2019年年中开始,苹果股价出现大幅上涨,而这种上涨很大程度上并非受利润增长推动,而是因为投资者和基金交易股票所支付的成本急剧攀升,换句话说,市盈率激增使得这样的一次性交易成本变得过于昂贵。

要理解苹果是如何从一款绝佳的投资产品变成一场高价赌博,比较有意义的做法就是看看它在过去五年里截至6月份的四个季度的收益和股价的演变历程。在这个时间框架内,我们可以将苹果刚刚结束的12个月的年化表现与2015年6月至2019年6月同期的全年表现进行比较。正如我们看到的那样,基本面和股价几年来一直徘徊不前,直到估值一飞冲天。

截至2015年6月的一年时间里,苹果公布的净利润为508亿美元,每股收益8.66美元。125美元的股价下,市盈率为14.6,股息收益率1.7%。这些指标不禁让人要尖叫着“买入!”为什么呢?因为苹果最大的优势在于,虽然它的历史收益只略微跑赢通胀,但它通过回购的形式返还给股东的收益至少达到了100%。因此,在2015年,由于市盈率如此之低,苹果花在回购上的每一美元都起到了很大的作用,每股收益因此提高了6.8美分,即6.8%。加上1.7%的股息,假设收益增长2%,你的总回报率将是10.5%。这意味着市盈率将保持在同样温和的低于15的水平。在这个微不足道的倍数上再加几个点,回报率会更高。

一年后,也就是2017年6月,苹果的股价更低。市盈率曾降至11。但在截至2017年、2018年和2019年年中的这三个时期,市盈率都在16.4到16.9之间,股息收益率1.6%到1.7%,这意味着即使苹果几乎没有增长,你也能获得10%的年回报率。

2019年年中开始出现巨变。从去年6月到2020年7月30日,苹果股价从198美元飙升至425美元,涨幅达115%。自2015年6月以来的增幅高达240%。投资者应该担心的是,在这五年中,每股收益的增长速度还不到增幅的四分之一,从8.66美元升至13.17美元,涨幅为52%。因此,苹果股价在过去五年里几乎上涨了3.5倍,最重要的驱动因素却不是利润的提高,而是市盈率增加了一倍多,从14.6上涨到目前的32.3。

事实上,从2015年年中到今年第三季度,苹果总利润每年仅增长2.1%,从508亿美元增长到553亿美元。每股收益提高很大程度上来自于公司史上规模最大的一系列股票回购。令人震惊的是,五年时间里苹果花费了3370亿美元用于回购,将其流通股从57.3亿股降至目前的43.5亿股,占同期每股收益涨幅的60%以上。

尽管新的第三季度财报业绩喜人,但实际上苹果的总利润在接下来的四个季度里持平,从557美元略降至553亿美元。苹果每股收益12%的增长完全来自于更大规模的回购。利润呈现略微的逆市而上。从较长的四个季度来看,营收增长了5.8%,远不如备受赞誉的第三季度11%的增幅令人印象深刻。

苹果前景

投资者从现在开始可以预期的收益与2015年年中的前景预测相比,假设苹果的收益遵循与通胀持平的长期趋势。以现在的32.3倍市盈率计算,用于回购的每一美元回报率为3.1美分或3.1%,不足五年前6.8%的一半。股息收益率从1.7%缩水至0.77%。使用这些参数计算,投资者未来可以预期的总回报率为5.9%(3.1%来自于回购,股息收益0.77%,外加2%的利润增长)。现在苹果被定价为“成长型股票”,与其被成为价值股的日子相比,你获得的回报可能会降低40%。

然而,如果苹果的市盈率保持现在的32.3倍,这比2019年年中17倍以下的市盈率高出90%,那么投资者享受的回报率只有不足6%。五年前,对于投资者而言,苹果市盈率可能缩水几乎不构成任何风险,因为这个市盈率实在太低了,并且投资者相当看好苹果的市盈率会增长。事实确实如此。如今,投资者面临着一个新的风险:苹果未来不会如拥护者期望的那般实现两位数的利润增长,一旦这一点明朗化,市盈率将重新回到价值范畴。不断下降的溢价将超过来自于回购的每股收益,继而出现股价暴跌。

苹果是一家了不起的公司,这一趋势并没有发生改变。并且直到一年前,苹果还是一款绝佳的投资产品。苹果后期表现如何尚不可知,但推动其股价飙升的动力决定了苹果需要怎么做才能实现更具挑战性的业绩、让投资者赚钱。

在这一片看好中,这些拥护者已经把门槛定得太高了,甚至就连苹果也难以给出达到他们期望的回报。(188金宝搏 下载)

译者:唐尘

Apple's strong Q3 earnings announcement––drawing kudos on Wall Street and sending its price surging to record highs––underscores the puzzle that faces anyone thinking about buying the shares.

For enthusiasts, the Q3 results, unveiled after the market close on July 30, marked a new phase of much faster growth. The gains over the third quarter of 2019 were particularly impressive, and those were the numbers that got the most attention. Total revenues jumped 11% to $59.7 billion, led by an almost 14% advance in high-margin services, such as commissions on App Store sales. A slight increase in revenues from China was a welcome surprise, since CEO Tim Cook had warned that a decline was probable. Earnings-per-share of $2.58 and free cash flow of $16 billion both set quarterly records.

The report won practically universal cheers from analysts, many of whom raised their price targets. RBC's Robert Muller lifted his 12-month forecast from $390 to $440, and Daniel Ives of Wedbush lauded the "blowout" performance and reiterated his $450 marker, 17% above the closing price of $385 on July 29. All four traders on CNBC's popular 5 PM show "Fast Money" gave excellent reviews. A guest on the broadcast, tech investor Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, called Apple's shares "still relatively inexpensive," and foresees a growth rate of 10% to 15% going forward, meriting a price-to-earnings multiple on par with Facebook and Alphabet. Munster joins many Apple supporters in predicting that the introduction of its new 5G iPhone will launch a new super-cycle for expansion. Money managers and analysts deemed CFO Luca Maestri's update on the conference call that the model's launch will be delayed a few weeks, until sometime in October, only a minor disappointment.

On July 30, Apple shares waxed 10.5% to an all-time high of $425, adding over $175 billion in market cap, to $1.84 trillion. Apple gained the equivalent of 87% of Intel's value in a single day.

It's possible that if what's expected as the "iPhone 12" proves a blockbuster, and the mega-hits keep coming, Apple could generate the huge earnings gains needed to keep its share price growing briskly. But at this heady valuation, if it doesn't get there, folks buying its shares today are in for a rough ride. Put simply, the good Q3 results are far from strong evidence that Apple is embarking on a durable phase of much faster growth.

That's because over longer periods, Apple has achieved only minimal yearly gains in sales and profits, casting doubt on whether it can suddenly reinvent itself as a sprinter. And that includes the last twelve months. For investors, the rub is that most of the gigantic spike in Apple's price that started in mid-2019 wasn't driven by a rise in profits, but by a leap in what folks and funds are paying for each dollar of those shares––in other words, an explosion in its P/E multiple that's arguably made this one-time bargain exorbitantly expensive.

To understand how Apple went from a terrific buy to a high-priced gamble, it's instructive to see how its earnings and share price have evolved over the past half-decade for the four-quarters ending in June. By using that timeframe, we can compare Apple's annualized performance for the 12 month period that just ended, with how it fared for the full year, June-to-June spans from 2015 to 2019. As we'll see, the fundamentals and the stock plodded in tandem for years, until the valuation took a moonshot.

In the year ended June of 2015, Apple posted GAAP net profits of $50.8 billion, and EPS of $8.66. At $125 a share, Apple was selling at a P/E of 14.6, and its dividend yield was 1.7%. Those metrics screamed "buy!" Why? Because Apple's great advantage is that while its earnings historically only grow a bit faster than inflation, it returns over 100% of those profits to shareholders, mainly in the form of repurchases. So in 2015, because its P/E was so low, each dollar Apple spent on buybacks went a long way, raising EPS by 6.8 cents, or 6.8%. Add the 1.7% dividend, and assume 2% earnings growth, and your total return would be 10.5%. And that's projecting that the P/E remained at the same modest sub-15. Adding a couple of points to that lowly multiple would send returns even higher.

A year later, in June of 2017, Apple was even cheaper. Its P/E had dropped to 11. But in the periods ended in mid-2017, 2018, and 2019, the multiples were all in the still bargain 16.4 to 16.9 range, with dividend yields of 1.6% to 1.7%, meaning that even if Apple barely grew, you'd pocket 10% yearly returns.

The seismic shift started in mid-2019. From June of last year to July 30 of 2020, Apple's share price bolted from $198 to $425, a rise of 115%. That brings the increase from June of 2015 to 240%. What should concern investors is that EPS over those five years rose less than one-fourth as fast, by 52% from $8.66 to $13.17. Hence, the overriding driver of the almost three-and-a-half times rise in Apple's price in the past half-decade wasn't advancing profits, but a more than doubling of its P/E from 14.6 to its current 32.3.

In fact, total profits from mid-2015 to Q3 of this year increased only 2.1% a year, from $50.8 to $55.3 billion. Most of the improvement in EPS came from the biggest series of share buybacks in corporate history. Over our five year period, Apple spent a staggering $337 billion on repurchases. That campaign lowered its float from 5.73 billion to the current 4.35 billion shares, a drop that accounts for over 60% of the rise in EPS over that period.

For all the excitement over the new Q3 report, Apple's total profits were actually flat over the trailing four quarters, easing a touch from $55.7 to $55.3 billion. Apple's 12% gain in EPS came exclusively from more gigantic buybacks. Profits were a slight headwind. The increase in revenues, when measured over the longer stretch of four quarters, registered 5.8%, a lot less impressive than much-praised 11% for Q3 alone.

Apple's outlook

Let's examine the gains investors can expect from here versus the outlook in mid-2015, assuming that Apple's earning follow their longstanding trend of matching inflation. At today's 32.3 P/E, each dollar spent on buybacks returns 3.1 cents or 3.1%, less than half the 6.8% five years ago. The dividend yield has shrunk from 1.7% to .77%. Using those parameters, the total return investors can anticipate going forward is 5.9% (3.1% from repurchases, .77% from dividends, plus profit growth of 2%). You're likely to garner returns that are 40% lower now that Apple's priced as a "growth stock" versus its days as a value play.

You'll only pocket that just under 6% return, however, if Apple's multiple remains at today's 32.3 P/E, which is 90% higher than the P/E of under 17 awarded as recently as mid-2019. Five years ago, investors braved little risk that Apple's multiple would shrink, simply because it was so low, and harbored pretty good prospects it would rise. Indeed, that's what happened, on steroids. Today, investors are facing a new danger: That Apple won't nearly generate the double-digit profit growth its fans are counting on, and once that's clear, that the P/E craters back into value territory. The falling premium would overwhelm the gains in EPS coming mostly from buybacks, and the shares would plunge.

Apple is a great company, and will remain so. And it was a great buy until a year ago. We don't know how Apple will perform going forward, but the momentum that's driven its share price skyward dictates what it has to do in the form of achieving far more challenging feats, for investors to make money.

In their enthusiasm, the believers have simply set the bar too high for even this champion to reward them.

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