Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Wall Street hasn’t been this pessimistic on Apple in decades

Caution is largely driven by uncertainty surrounding demand for Apple’s critical iPhone line.

Wall Street hasn’t been this pessimistic about Apple in a long time.

Rosenblatt Securities downgraded the company to sell on Monday, bringing the total number of bearish analysts up to five, among the 57 ratings tracked by Bloomberg. It’s the highest number of sell ratings the iPhone maker has had since at least 1997, according to historical data compiled by Bloomberg.

Skepticism surrounding the company has accelerated in 2019, with all five of the sell ratings coming in this year. Both New Street Research and HSBC lowered their ratings on the stock to sell in April, and in January, the number of firms with buy ratings dropped below 50% for the first time since 2004.

The caution has been largely driven by uncertainty surrounding demand for the company’s critical iPhone line, with the US-China trade war seen as a particular headwind. In January, Apple cut its revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades, in large part because of iPhone weakness. Apple’s third-quarter results are currently expected to come out on July 30.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, more than 60% of Apple’s 2018 revenue was related to the iPhone, while 20% came from China, which is also a critical part of its supply chain. Last week, Citi wrote that Apple’s China sales “could be cut in half” due to “a less favourable brand image desire.”

Rosenblatt’s downgrade came as analyst Jun Zhang expects the company “will face fundamental deterioration over the next 6-12 months,” based on disappointing sales trends. The downgrade pushed Apple stock lower by as much as 1.9% in Monday trading.

Still, the sell-equivalent ratings hardly represent a consensus view. A plurality of 23 firms recommend buying the stock, while another 21 have hold ratings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The news was not entirely negative for Apple on Monday, however, as Wedbush wrote it was “incrementally more positive on global iPhone demand” following checks in Asia. “We saw a ‘slight uptick’ out of Apple suppliers during our checks although overall handset demand remains challenging,” analyst Daniel Ives wrote. He affirmed his outperform rating and $235 price target.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.

COMMENTS   1

To comment, you must be registered and logged in.

LOGIN HERE

Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

Is this the beginning of the tech bubble deflating? The same bubble that has kept the US in the longest Bull run in history? Perhaps this is what is co inciting with the sudden rush to Gold as a hedge. All the signs are there…what the Fed decides soon will set the agenda going forward. Interesting times but what a ride it’s been!

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

SHOP NEWSLETTERS TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company:
server: 172.17.0.2