Apple’s plan to repatriate $285 billion could be a boost for investors

When it comes to moving assets out of Jersey and into the United States, the switch should be painless, said Mitchell Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy, a Melville, New York-based wealth management firm. It will likely just transfer assets from one account to another, similar to how anyone might switch bank accounts.

It’s too early to say if anyone will be negatively impacted by the money move, other than the bank in Jersey, which will now have less dollars in its account, but it’s likely business will continue as usual, Goldberg said. Any investments the company might have overseas will still receive funding, while operations in the United States will operate as is, too.

“It doesn’t really change anything,” Goldberg said. “Except the U.S. government will have some extra money to help it with budgeting, and Apple will have a little less money.”

The clear winner in this is shareholders. Since January, Apple’s stock has fallen by 5 percent, and it’s only up 23 percent over the last three years — two percentage points lower than the S&P 500. There’s an increasing concern that iPhone demand is slowing, and the iPhone X is expected to sell 14 million units in the current quarter, down from an estimated 29 million from the quarter before.

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Buybacks and dividends should help boost returns — Morningstar has a $170 price target on the stock; it’s trading at $163 today. With Apple’s valuation at 13.55 times earnings, down 9.75 percent year-to-date, according to S&P Capital IQ, a case can be made to view the stock as a buy.

Goldberg, though, says to wait until Tuesday’s announcement. If it reveals better-than-expected results and a clear idea on how Apple plans to spend its money, then investors can buy the stock with greater confidence. If it has a worse quarter than expected, then people will be able to get in at an even steeper discount.

“There are so many balls in the air right now, and that’s creating a very uncertain environment,” he said. “Wait to see what they say about all of this before making up your mind.”

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