Apple's Stock Falls, Bucking Broad Market Gains, After Citigroup Cuts IPhone Sales Outlook

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc.'s stock dropped 1% in morning trade, despite gains in the broad market and technology sector, after Citigroup analyst Jim Suva cut its iPhone sales estimate and said he expected other sell-side analysts to do the same. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 158 points and the SPDR Technology ETF climbed 0.7%. Suva cut his fiscal fourth quarter iPhone unit sales estimate to 47 million from 48 million, and shifting the cut units to the fiscal first quarter. Suva said he made that cut because although iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus sales of 13 million units beat expectations, Apple said that only Friday and Saturday sales would be counted in fourth-quarter results. "We expect Apple shares to see continued volatility in the near term," Suva wrote in a note to clients, given near-term investor focus on iPhone sales. He reiterated his buy rating and stock price target of $145, which is 33% above current levels, because he sees potential for upside to gross margin estimates, which could eventually become the focus for investors. Apple's stock has lost 13% over the past three months, while the Dow has slipped 6.2% and the XLK has eased 3.3%.

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