Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:
) continued to slide on Monday, after analysts at Jefferies
cut their price target on the stock from $900 to
. Still, with shares trading near $530, analysts maintained its
In its note, Jefferies warned that growth could slow in 2014
with the stock's forward multiple dropping as Apple's margins
Among the most interesting stock stories of 2012, Apple is
certainly near the top of the list. After starting 2012 around
$400 per share, Apple rapidly rallied, peaking above $700 per
share for a 75 percent gain. However, since September's peak,
Apple's share price has steadily dropped.
In mid-November, Apple approached $500, but then quickly shot
back to about $600 in only a few sessions. In recent trading days
the trend has reversed again, and should the familiar "head and
shoulders" technical pattern play out, Apple appears destined to
see the $500 share price once more.
Last Friday, Apple hit the dreaded "death cross" -- its 50-day
moving average crossed below its 200-day moving average,
traditionally believed to be a bearish trading signal. Add to
that worries about the fiscal cliff, and it isn't hard to see how
Apple is trading lower.
Apple has been a popular stock among traders for the last few
years, and many may be sitting on large, unrealized capital
gains. With the tax on capital gains likely to go up in 2013,
many investors may be tempted to sell all or part of their Apple
positions to avoid future tax increases.
In addition to cutting its price target, Jefferies also laid
out expectations for Apple's future product portfolio.
Jefferies expects a refreshed iPhone to appear in June or July
of 2013. This new iPhone would, according to Jefferies, likely be
dubbed the iPhone 5S. This would be consistent with Apple's prior
product launches, where the company rolled out an iPhone 4S and
3GS as successors to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G models,
More interesting, Jefferies expects Apple's "iTV" to be
unveiled in September or October of 2013. Analysts cite Tim
Cook's recent NBC appearance as evidence of a forthcoming TV,
speculating that Cook wouldn't make such leading statements about
an Apple television if the device wasn't near completion.
Then there's the low-cost iPhone. Jefferies doesn't believe
the phone has been fully approved by Apple's management just yet.
If the device is launched, Jefferies anticipates it to be
unveiled alongside the refreshed iPhone in the summer.
By Jefferies' estimate, the cheaper iPhone would be priced
around $200-250 and aimed at the prepaid and developing markets.
Like Apple's iPad Mini, Apple may be considering the device as a
way to ward off competition from cheaper smartphones running
) Android operating system. Jefferies thinks that a cheap iPhone
would benefit Apple's market share, but hurt its gross
If nothing else, Apple's shares remain volatile. If 2013 plays
out like 2012, Apple's shares might be a bargain at current
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.