Apple Recap: Another Cut, Duopoly Lives On, Dividend Trouble

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gained 2.26 percent to close at $449.83 on Monday, pulling the Nasdaq along with it. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.59 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,154.30. Apple also regained its title as the largest U.S. company by market capitalization as Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) fell 0.7 percent to $91.11 and slipped back to second place.

Another Stock Cut

Apple was bumped from its Outperform rating to Neutral by analysts at Baird Equity Research, who also cut down the iPhone maker’s price target to $465 from $570. According to the firm, high consensus estimates, which were unreasonably high, posed the maximum danger for the stock. “We are increasingly wary of several near-term risks, particularly consensus estimates that we believe remain frustratingly too high,” Baird’s William Power wrote. “With estimates likely to fall further and gross margin concerns likely to linger, we believe the shares could drop further, despite the sharp sell-off and valuation.”

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According to the analyst, while he remained positive on Apple’s “leading product portfolio, unmatched ecosystem, and potential new products,” he was looking for a “more significant reboot of estimates” to become aggressive on the stock again…(Read more)

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