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Apple Strengthens Ties With Corning, Invests $45M

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Apple (AAPL) has awarded Corning Incorporated $45 million to help enhance the company’s manufacturing capacity in the US. The funding will also help accelerate research and development efforts in innovative technologies that support long-lasting product life.

Corning is already Apple’s supplier for the precision glass used in iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads. Over the past four years, the company has received close to $450 million from Apple’s $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund.

Apple and Corning boast a long-lasting relationship dating from the first iPhone glass to the Ceramic Shield currently used in iPhone 12. The Ceramic Shield is an extra tough glass-ceramic that the two companies' engineers and experts co-developed.

“Ceramic Shield is a prime example of the technologies that are possible when deep innovation meets the power of American manufacturing. We’re so proud to work alongside Corning, whose 170-year-old legacy is a testament to the ingenuity of the US workforce,” said Apple’s Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Jeff Williams.

According to Corning CEO Wendell P. Weeks, a long-lasting product development partnership is fueling life-changing innovation while also sustaining the communities where Corning works.

Apple supports more than 2.7 million jobs across the US. In the recent past, it has announced plans to add 20,000 new jobs while investing more than $430 billion into the economy over the next five years. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks).

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives has reiterated a Buy rating on the stock even as Apple faces off with Epic Games in defense of its App Store ecosystem. The lawsuit was served in the aftermath of Apple's removal of the popular Fortnite game from its platform. The analyst expects the iPhone maker to win the lawsuit.

“From an investor perspective, the key services business and its $65 billion+ annual revenue stream for FY21 remain what we estimate is a $1.3 trillion valuation alone for this business and key to future monetization efforts with more bundling efforts on the horizon,” Ives stated.

Ives has a $185 price target on Apple, implying 45.84% upside potential to current levels.

Consensus among analysts on Wall Street is a Moderate Buy based on 18 Buy, 5 Hold, and 1 Sell ratings. The average analyst price target of $159.96 implies 26.10% upside potential to current levels.

AAPL scores an 8 out of 10 in TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, implying it is likely to outperform the overall market.

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