Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares have been cut by analysts from BMO Capital Markets, the latest firm to cut its price target on the stock. On Wednesday analysts at Nomura cut their price target, while BTIG revised its estimates for Apple down. Nonetheless analysts at Sterne Agee and Morgan Stanley remain bullish on the stock, expecting positive results in the company’s December quarter earnings report.
In a report to investors Wednesday afternoon, BMO analysts said they have reduced their target price for shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to $640 per share from $670 per share. However they are maintaining their Outperform rating on the stock. BMO is also lowering its estimates for the company’s March quarter as well as the quarters that follow because of reduced demand.
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BMO analysts said they believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should “broaden its market reach” by releasing a less expensive iPhone. They say right now the $300 to $400 market for smartphones is only about 10 percent of the units shipped within the industry, so in order for Apple to grow, it must create a lower-end phone without cannibalizing its current user base for the high-end phones.
They lowered their 2014 fiscal year earnings per share estimate from $57.85 per share to $55.50 per share. They believe that in the near term, Apple’s guidance “could disappoint,” and if the company does offer a less expensive iPhone in the current calendar year, investors will have to deal with diluted profit margins, even while the company’s operating income and earnings per share increase, in their estimations.
BMO analysts do believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will increase dividends and buybacks in the current calendar year, and they do still believe that their new valuation for the stock is “compelling.”
Shares of Apple are trading mostly flat in this morning’s trades.