Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares started to turn the corner after Friday's opening bell, rising as much as 0.5 percent; unfortunately prices started falling again about an hour after the markets opening.
Meanwhile the hits keep on coming from analysts who are downgrading the stock. Yesterday Topeka Capital’s Brian White, one of Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) most notorious bulls, slashed his price target from $1,111 per share to $888 per share, and others followed suit.
Notes from other investors also indicate that they are downgrading the stock as well. Analysts at Nomura joined White in lowering their price target yesterday (from $530 per share to $490 per share) and remained Neutral on the stock. The analysts added that Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) first fiscal quarter of 2013 “featured few positives.” They also say that the company’s second fiscal quarter is “a little worse than feared.”
Nomura analysts noted that Apple’s free cash flow from its first quarter is strong, and the average selling price of the iPhone is strong. They call the company’s financial performance “exceptional” but say that the company’s material earnings upside seems to have disappeared.
On the negative side, they believe the momentum of the iPhone is “waning quickly” and the iPad Mini is eroding the larger iPads’ average selling prices. They also say the company’s gross margins are “falling back rather than improving.”
Analysts at Mirae Asset Securities have not even rated shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). They do say however that they expect to company to raise carrier subsidies this year and launch what they call an “entry-level iPhone” in the second half of 2013, which would expand Apple’s market share in emerging markets. According to the analysts, Apple’s subsidy expansion could even spark “industry-wide margin erosion.”