updated 04:47 pm EST, Wed March 6, 2013
Apple execs paint positive picture
Several analysts have reduced their price targets for Apple stock, AppleInsider observes. These include Barclays Capital's Ben Reitzes, who has dropped his target from $575 to $530. Reitzes explains that his team has been considering the move for days, and went ahead with it in spite of meeting with two Apple executives, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and senior VP of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller. Several topics are said to have been discussed, such as possible uses for the company's $137 billion in cash reserves, and prospects for the iPhone and iPad.
"We believe there is an undying dedication at Apple to innovate -- and its leadership is working hard to prove bears wrong," Reitzes writes in a new memo. "We believe the company has a strong product pipeline ramping in (the second half of calendar 2013) -- with new platform innovations as well, in our opinion." The analyst is for instance holding to a prediction of a low-cost iPhone based on the iPhone 5 design, which might be joined by a flagship iPhone 5S.
Another target reduction comes from analysts at Citigroup, who have shifted from $500 to $480. The group cites "evidence of reduced demand to Apple's suppliers" for the iPhone 5 and 9.7-inch iPad, and thoughts that "despite much speculation amongst investors and 3rd party research, we find limited evidence of a low-end iPhone at this stage."
Berenberg Bank's Adnaan Ahmad has called investing in any smartphone company "dead," arguing that investors should focus on "trade" with corporations like Apple and Samsung instead of treating them as long-term holdings. "Apple and Samsung margins are peaking and growth is going to be driven by the margin-dilutive mid-to-low-end segment in the next 24 months," he says. "In our opinion, this will translate into poorer industry fundamentals."