Apple Downgraded At Needham, But Remains Top Stock Pick

By Trey Williams Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Analysts at Needham downgraded shares of Apple Inc. as the company comes within 6% of their target price. Lead analyst Laura Martin cut her rating to buy from strong buy on Friday, but said the stock remains her top pick. Martin sees Apple's recurring revenue stream and average user churn as a boon, as well as the company's pure play in mobile products and relatively inexpensive price compared to major content companies. "Despite the fact that Apple's profit metrics are higher than world class content companies such as Disney and CBS, and its asset efficiency is higher than world class internet companies like Facebook and Expedia, Apple's valuation is dramatically below these companies," Martin wrote in a note to clients. Martin also raised estimates for 2018 and increased her price target to $165 from $150. Shares of Apple have increased 33% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 index has gained 15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 18% during the same time frame.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.