updated 02:50 pm EST, Tue January 13, 2009
Citi lowers AAPL target
Citi's research arm has adopted a more pessimistic view on Apple's prospects, the Associated Press reports. A key analyst at Citi, Richard Gardner, has lowered his price target for Apple stock from $153 to $132, and also reduced earnings predictions for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Gardner is further pessimistic about iPhone shipments for the fourth quarter of 2008, which he suggests will slip below 4 million. By contrast, the third quarter produced 6.9 million in shipments.
EPS for the March quarter could also be disappointing, says Gardner, as much as 10 to 15 cents less than the Wall Street consensus of $1.13.
The analyst is however maintaining a "buy" rating on Apple stock, and notes that profit per share could still be $1.42 for Q4 2008. Disappointing results may in fact be beneficial to prospective investors; should Apple stock drop $7 or $8 after the company's fiscal first quarter results, says Gardner, people may want to be "aggressive" buyers.