After months of steady growth, Apple stock hit an all-time high of $705.07 in late September, and it seemed there was no sign of stopping it from breaking through the $1,000 barrier and making Apple the world’s first trillion dollar company. Take a look at the market today, however, and it paints a very different picture.
Apple stock fell a whopping 25% in November, and on Friday, it hit a ten-month low. Today, shares dipped below the $400 mark. This is despite the recent launch of the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, both of which appear to be selling incredible well. Can the Cupertino company put an end to this nasty slide? Analysts don’t think so.
Citi analysts today issued a note to clients cutting their price target on Apple shares to $575, and changing their rating from Buy to Neutral. They believe the current iPhone 5 demand cannot continue to carry to stock it has been, and therefore they’re expecting stock to drop even further in the months ahead. They note Apple’s trimmed iPhone 5 orders are a troubling sign moving into 2013.
Citi analysts do expect Apple to have a big holiday quarter, BGR reports, but they’re not expecting great things for the first quarter of 2013.
Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley seems to feel the same way. He blames “softer” than expected iPhone and iPad sales in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014 for his decision to cut his price target from $800 to $750.
“While our November channel checks indicated very strong sales of the iPhone 5, we are slightly lowering our F2013 and F2014 iPhone and iPad estimates due to softer sales expectations in international markets, primarily in Europe,” wrote Walkley in a note to investors today.
“While order reductions to iPhone suppliers are not unusual this time of year, we believe reduced iPhone 5 orders for the March quarter could also indicate an earlier launch of new iPhone products in the June quarter. Despite our slightly lowered estimates, we believe Apple’s industry-leading software ecosystem and integrated hardware experience will result in a strong multi-year product cycle.”
Unlike Citi, and despite his price cut, Walkley maintains his Buy rating on Apple stock.
Analysts are anticipating the arrival of Apple’s “next big thing.” Recent rumors would suggest that’s a television, but there’s still no indication when — or indeed if — that will come to fruition.