Apple Stock Price Target, IPhone Estimates Cut As Analyst Cites Soft Demand

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Analyst Daniel Ives at FBR & Co. is a little less bullish on Apple Inc.'s , as he cut his stock price target and iPhone shipment forecasts on Wednesday, saying data showing softer demand and a weaker supply chain suggests "speed bumps could be ahead" for the technology giant. Ives affirmed his highest outperform rating. The stock price target was slashed to $150, which is 40% above Tuesday's closing price of $107.23, from $175. Of the 40 analysts surveyed by FactSet, Ives' target falls from being third highest to tied for 13th. His iPhone shipment estimates fall to 75.5 million units from 77 million for the December quarter, to 52 million from 60 million for the March 2016 quarter and to 47 million from 51 million for the June quarter. "After a euphoric iPhone 6 product cycle, Apple and Cook now face a pivotal "make or break" iPhone 7 product cycle, which will dictate the future growth story at Apple," Ives wrote in a note to clients. He remains bullish on the stock, because the fact that only 30%-plus of Apple's user base upgraded to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s phones leaves an opportunity to benefit from pent up demand and to further penetrate its customer base. The stock, which ticked up 0.4% in premarket trade, has lost 2.9% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 2.3%.

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