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Apple Faces Downgrade Amid Sales Weakness


Apple, the largest U.S. company by market capitalization, has been downgraded by Barclays due to sales weakness in iPhones and Mac computers. Analysts at Barclays, led by Tim Long, changed Apple’s rating from Equal Weight to Underweight, with a revised price target of $160 (previously $161). As a result, the stock fell 1.8% in premarket trading to $189.03.

Barclays’ latest sales checks reveal softness in iPhone 15 sales specifically in China and developed markets. While emerging markets show some strength, it is not sufficient to compensate for the overall decline. Additionally, analysts predict a slowdown in growth for Apple’s services, such as the App Store, for the current year.

In their note, Long and his colleagues caution about the sustainability of Apple’s weak results coupled with multiple expansion. They also anticipate that 2024 will bring more challenges for their services.

Apple had a successful year in 2023, witnessing a nearly 50% surge in its stock. However, uncertainties arise regarding whether the company can sustain this winning streak. A recent setback occurred when the U.S. temporarily banned sales of the newest Apple Watch due to patent issues.

The so-called Magnificent Seven companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Tesla, significantly contributed to the stock market’s substantial gains last year.


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