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Deutsche Bank Sees Apple Downside To $140 Following Q3 Earnings Report

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Deutsche Bank Sees Apple Downside To $140 Following Q3 Earnings Report
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s strong earnings report coupled with encouraging guidance and a more than 5-percent gain in the stock to hit a new all-time high isn't enough to sway analysts at Deutsche Bank to take a bullish stance. The firm's Sherri Scribner maintains a Hold rating on Apple's stock with a price target raised from $132 to $140, which implies downside of more than $15 per share from current levels.

Apple's report did confirm in its fiscal third quarter report that it is "standing tall" but the "main event" is yet to come -- that is the launch of the iPhone 8, Scribner argued. In fact, the market continues to be "overly optimistic" on the performance of the iPhone based on:

    1. An already saturated smartphone market.
    2. Longer refresh cycles.
    3. Heightened competition in the all-important Chinese market.
    4. A growing secondary market.

Items To Follow

China remains a key item to monitor, especially after revenue fell 10 percent year over year versus an easy compare, the analyst said. This also marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining sales.

Also, Apple's reported gross margin guidance of 37.5 to 38.0 percent is "disappointing" as investors have been hoping for a strong mix of higher priced phones when the iPhone 8 is launched.

Last, while Apple did deliver 10-cent upside in its earnings per share the company's operating profit was only 4 cents better than expected, with a lower tax rate adding roughly 6 cents per share.

"We think Apple will have a hard time delivering on Street expectations," the analyst emphasized. "We continue to view Apple as a trading stock, and believe shares will trade at the higher end of their historical range while current market multiples are elevated."

At last check, shares of Apple were up 4.66 percent at $157.03.

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Latest Ratings for AAPL

DateFirmActionFromTo
Sep 2018Bank of AmericaMaintainsBuyBuy
Sep 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Sep 2018DA DavidsonMaintainsBuyBuy

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