Sales of Apple’s popular iPhone line of smartphones will continue to decline until the next-generation model launches later this year according to one analyst. Mike Walkley of Canaccord Genuity on Thursday raised his price target on shares of Apple stock to $740, reiterating a Buy rating. Walkley believes that Apple will post strong results for the second fiscal quarter ended in March, however he lowered his EPS estimates for fiscal 2012 to $43.13 from $44.58.
“Our recent channel checks indicate modestly slowing iPhone 4S sell-through trends in developed markets,” Walkley wrote. “We have lowered near-term iPhone unit estimates, but we have increased our F2013 iPhone estimates as we anticipate very strong demand for an LTE iPhone 5 ramping during the December quarter. We maintain our belief Apple is well positioned for strong sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions across its portfolio.”
Brian White of Topeka Capital Market believes Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which he and Walkley both refer to as the “iPhone 5,” will launch some time in the third calendar quarter, but Walkley’s note indicates a fourth-quarter launch and he sees iPhone demand ramping up at that time. BGR reported late last year that Apple plans to launch a completely redesigned iPhone some time this fall.
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