Apple faces “recessionary headwinds” through 2010, RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky told investors Wednesday. Abramsky now predicts 27.8 million iPhones will ship in 2010, down from 31.8 million. The analyst also believed Apple will report $46 billion in 2010, slipping slightly from the $46.6 billion previously expected.
Abramsky, however, still expects Apple will sell 21 million iPhones in 2009 and kept his target price for Apple at $125. Last month, the analyst cut his target price for Apple shares from $140.
In October, after Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer provided a forecast range of $9 billion to $10 billion for the December quarter, Abramsky took the indecision as a signal of uncertainty.
“Apple’s outlook in our view highlights its rising challenges, including: a) a deteriorating consumer spending environment; b) premium price points for Macs, some possibly mismatched to tightening budgets, and c) margin Risks,” the RBC analyst told clients then.
Although Abramsky appears to be the first analyst reducing expectations for 2010, several Apple watchers recently trimmed their predictions for 2009.
Last week, Barclays Capital cited the “continued weakness in the economy” as reason to cut its projection for fiscal 2009. Barclays’ Ben Reitzes expected Apple will report $35.7 billion for 2009, down from $36.1 billion.
In addition, BMO’s Keith Bachman added his voice to a growing downward concensus trimming his expectation for iPhone sales in the first quarter to hit 5.6 million, down from 6.6 million.
Also today, DigiTimes reports Apple may be cutting production of notebooks by 20 to 30 percent. The talk follows last week’s suggestion by Friedman, Billings, Ramsey that Cupertino may have scaled back fourth quarter iPhone production by up to 40 percent. The FBR note was dismissed by some as simply indicating Apple handsets were already in inventory.