Apple Slides After Mizuho Downgrade, Price Target Cut

Suddenly the penguins knives are out for the world’s biggest company, and exactly one week after Pacific Crest downgraded Apple to “Sector Weight” and a $145PT, perhaps a harbinger of what was to come later in the week, overnight another bank, Japan’s Mizuho, has also taken the machete to its own growth forecasts of Tim Cook’s juggernaut, and downgraded the iPhone maker to neutral from buy, cutting the price target from $160 to $150, claiming the best case scenario is now priced into the shares.

Of course, the analyst is merely the first of many price and momentum chasers who has adjusted his sentiment based on what the market does, and after last Friday’s tech sector drubbing we expect many more such downgrades in the days to come.

Here are the summary highlights from Lamba’s note:

We are downgrading Apple to Neutral from Buy while adjusting our PT to $150 from $160. The stock has meaningfully outperformed on a YTD basis and we believe enthusiasm around the upcoming product cycle is fully captured at current levels, with limited upside to estimates from here on out. Our sensitivity work indicates bull case EPS of around $11 which, along with a cycle-peak multiple, indicates limited upside to the stock. Our LTVC work suggests more muted gains as well. As such, we move to the sidelines despite our expectations of a strong iPhone 8 cycle

And the key points:

The summary:

Downgrading to Neutral from Buy; adjusting PT to $150 from $160. At 15x and 11x NTM EPS and FCF, the stock is trading near the upper-end of its recent valuation range and we believe it is tough to expect the multiple to expand. With limited upside to EPS or FCF estimates, we think the stock is fully valued.

The stock is not impressed with the downgrade, and this morning AAPL was down another 2%, down to $146, after trading at $155 on Friday morning.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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