updated 03:30 pm EDT, Mon September 29, 2008
Piper on investor panic
Today's sudden drop in Apple stock value is largely unwarranted, argue analysts from Piper Jaffray. The firm blames "market fears," which it says are distracting from "light at the end of the tunnel" as suggested by its own examinations. The company notes, for instance, that Street models are already accounting for wider economic problems, and may in fact be pessimistic. Piper puts FY08 Mac growth at 40 percent, and FY09 at 16 percent.
The group adds that while NPD numbers show Mac sales sliding sharply between July and August in terms of year-over-year growth, from 43 to 23 percent, this may create a distorted picture. August of 2007 was unusually important, Piper claims, as it saw the release of the first aluminum iMacs, which may have raised expectations too high for the subsequent year. Nevertheless, year-over-year figures are expected to slip to 19 percent in Apple's December quarter.
Piper likewise contends that while Apple margins may drop, assuming the prospect of cheaper Macs and a "family" of iPhones in 2009, they will not fall very far. Current forecasts call for nothing below 30 percent in CY09, and the December quarter may see numbers slightly greater than that.
One concern to Apple may be equity investments, which could fall short for the tech industry as banks continue to fail. The company is, however, said to be more immune to these problems than some of its rivals.