updated 01:32 pm EST, Mon November 26, 2012
Claims recent 'correction' in line with other Apple stock slides
Citi Research is starting coverage of Apple shares with a $675 price target. An investor memo produced by the firm notes that the target implies a return of about 20 percent. The memo also describes a long stock slide that began on September 21st as a "correction," one in line with other slides in Apple's history, as well as the history of its competition. Citi's target is nevertheless about 11 percent below Wall Street consensus, something attributed to risks "increasingly coming into focus."
"We assert that Apple's share of the smartphone market is at risk from low-end smartphones and competition from other ecosystems," the firm writes. "We see upside from tablets, but this negatively impacts [gross margins]." Analysts have sometimes complained that Apple doesn't offer a low-end smartphone that isn't simply a prior year's model with a price cut; even then those iPhones are usually saddled with contracts. "Other ecosystems" likely refers to Android, and possibly music, book, and video content sold by Amazon.