Fortnite, China Fears Not Enough To Sour Apple Stock

Shares of tech giant Apple are on the rise even amid controversies like its lawsuit from Epic Games over Fortnite and the potential for Chinese retaliation against the company. The stock hit new record intraday and closing highs Monday (Aug. 24) on the Nasdaq Stock Market, ending the day at $503.43 after going as high as $515.14 earlier in the session.

MarketWatch reported that Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her price target for Apple from $431 to $520 in note to clients. That's despite the tech giant's troubles with Epic Games, involving a dispute over that company's attempts to install its own in-app payment method, and China.

Huberty said she didn't expect any immediate changes to how the App Store operates, as the legal procedures would likely take a while to unfold, according to the report. And she didn't see much of a potential risk in the President Donald Trump administration's talk of a ban on transactions of Chinese companies like Tencent-owned WeChat.

In Huberty's opinion, fears that Apple could be banned from dealing with WeChat in China as well likely won't come true, MarketWatch reported.

Another analyst, Daniel Ives of Wedbush, said the WeChat ban, while only applicable to the U.S., "within the U.S. (App Store), importantly for Apple we believe Chinese consumers should see no disruption with this app which is key especially heading into the company’s long awaited 5G iPhone 12 supercycle ready to launch in early October,” according to the report.

In Ives' estimation, Apple could be facing outperformance with $515 as a target price, the report stated. Ives has been spending his time "seeing considerable strength from the China region over the last few months, a dynamic we expect to continue heading into the next six to nine months," according to the report.

The fight between Apple and Fortnite exploded earlier this year into wide spanning discussions over Apple's decisions to block the Fortnite app from the store and also block Epic Games itself from using the platform. Microsoft has said it would be a bad decision for gaming companies.



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