Apple Stock Target Lowered On China Exposure

By Jennifer BootonMarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc.'s price target was trimmed to $130 from $135 at Jefferies due to the company's exposure to China, which moved to devalue its currency on Tuesday. Analyst Sundeep Bajikar, who maintained a hold rating on the stock, said the reduced target accounts for macro demand uncertainty for the iPhone, primarily in China, and incremental loss of investor confidence in Apple's ability to grow. The stock fell 3.5% to $115.45 in recent trade, putting it on track for its third decline of more than 3% in the last month. Apple has the second-most exposure to China of the 30 components in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with more than 16% of its revenue coming from the region, which recently surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest iPhone market, according to Factset. While Bajikar said he remains optimistic about Apple's ability to increase its iPhone share in China, he said industry watchers have become "somewhat concerned" by the recent stock-market headwinds in China. "Unless Apple can deliver meaningful progress in brand fortification through new product categories such as Watch, iPad Pro, Car, or Cloud Services, or further increase cash returns to investors, the stock would remain at the mercy of iPhone/China sentiment near-term," he said in a note to clients. "A selloff would make the stock incrementally more attractive to us."

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