It’s no secret that CNBC’s Jim Cramer has long been a fan of Apple, both the stock and the company.
But on Tuesday, Cramer doubled down on his love for the iPhone maker after its stock finished the day up more than 4 percent, or $6.54 a share, following several days of dramatic declines.
“What makes this all the more impressive is the fact that Apple’s stock is coming back even as it’s under constant, enfilading fire from the so-called analyst community,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Ever since the world’s largest company reported last Thursday, delivering strong top- and bottom-line numbers but a lackluster iPhone sales forecast, the long knives have been coming out.”
“But I think Apple is at its best when the analysts are at their worst,” Cramer quipped.
Still, Cramer acknowledged the pervasive bear case about Apple: that the company’s iPhone sales, particularly for its new 8 and X models, are falling victim to weak demand.
Some have compared the current iPhone cycle to Apple’s iPhone 6 launch, which was widely seen as a sub-par product release.
When Apple launched the iPhone 6S, the consumer response was lukewarm, made worse by reports of the phones bending in people’s pockets. As a result, Apple shares tanked.
“I think you’re going to hear this comparison a lot going forward, but, and this is a gigantic but, I think the analogy is totally bogus,” Cramer argued. “The Apple of today is in much better shape than the Apple of early 2016.”
In fact, besides the analysts’ narrative that Apple’s worst days are behind it, very little of Apple’s current situation mirrors 2016, Cramer said.
In 2016, analysts were slashing their estimates and Apple’s quarterly results followed suit, with revenue and earnings shrinking by double-digits.
Now, even Wall Street’s skeptics are projecting that Apple will have 17 percent revenue growth and 30 percent earnings growth in its next quarter, Cramer said, adding that even if the company misses the estimates, it will still be in “positive territory.”
Better yet, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty — “the single best analyst who covers Apple,” by Cramer’s account — pointed out that Apple’s China business is taking market share, unlike in 2016, when it was slowing.
Huberty also told investors that its service revenue stream from products like Apple music is growing by 18 percent and the company’s plans to repatriate its overseas cash could bring good tidings for shareholders.
“Look, I hate to chase, but the next time the negative analysts manage to knock Apple down — and they’ll do it, it’s in their DNA — I think it’s a terrific buy,” Cramer said. “Let’s not allow the bear attacks to scare us away from the greatest consumer products story on earth, the one with the best technology that just keeps improving.”