Are Apple Analysts Getting a Reality Check?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has received several disappointed shakes of the head since it announced slowing growth through its fiscal first-quarter earnings report last week. For investors used to seeing the company expand at a breakneck speed both in terms of earnings and consequently the share price, the gloomy trend report was the last barrier after months of worries had already made the stock weak.
Apple fell more than 12 percent the day after the earnings, and the various financial analysts covering the company responded in a similarly disappointed fashion, racing to cut their bullish price targets and recommendations.
According to a survey by Fortune, out of the 36 analysts polled, 33 lowered their price targets on the company after the earnings announcement. The new median was a target estimate of $605, while the average came in at $617. When Fortune conducted a similar survey a month ago, the average target had been about 17 percent higher at $740. The stock closed on Monday at $449.83.
The survey found that there was still a wide range in the various estimates. The lowest target — $380 — was from Creative Global’s Carlo Besenius, who recommended shorting the stock. The highest target was still from Topeka Capital’s Brian White, who brought his figure down to $888 from an ultra-aggressive $1,111, but kept a Buy rating on it.
Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray also lowered his price target to $767 from $875, where it had been brought just two weeks ago from an earlier figure of $910.
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