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Morgan Stanley: 'Fortnite' Phenomenon A Tailwind For Apple's App Store

Hannah Genig

After Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s App Store celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week, analysts have begun to dissect the tech giant's legacy. 

One of the most discussed topics is the relatively new "battle royale" gaming concept. Games like "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" and "Fornite" have achieved incredible popularity since their release in 2017. As of June, a reported 125 million people were playing "Fortnite" across all platforms. 

Earlier this year, developers announced the release of "Fortnite" for iOS. The game has generated unbelievable results in a short time and contributed greatly to the App Store's overall growth.  

The Analyst

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty reiterated an Overweight rating on Apple with a $214 price target. 

The Thesis 

The App Store posted a 27-percent year-over-year revenue increase to $3.4 billion, Huberty said in a Wednesday note. 

The App Store's net revenue set a quarterly record, although it fell below Morgan Stanley's estimate of $3.5 billion in revenue and 29-percent growth. 

"Gaming-related app downloads and in-app purchases continue to drive the majority of App Store revenue, accounting for 72 percent of App Store net revenue and contributing close to half of App Store [year-over-year] revenue growth," she said. 

This success is measured globally, but the U.S. is undoubtedly a key player in mobile gaming, the analyst said.

"Within this result, the U.S. was extrememly strong — likely on the heels of the successful 'Fortnite' launch in late March, which brought in more than $100 million in gross spend on iOS in its three months on the App Store." 

Price Action

Apple shares were trading up 1.51 percent at $190.72 at the time of publication Thursday. 

Related Links:

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Photo courtesy of Apple.

Latest Ratings for AAPL

Date Firm Action From To
Jun 2018 Argus Maintains Buy Buy
May 2018 Maxim Group Downgrades Buy Hold
May 2018 Morgan Stanley Maintains Overweight Overweight

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