Wall Street analysts slashed their price targets for Apple (AAPL - Get Report) following the company's disappointing earnings report on Tuesday, although many were still bullish on the tech giant for the long term.
"We're very optimistic that this too shall pass and that the market, and particularly, us will grow again," CEO Tim Cook assured analysts after the results, in which Apple reported a drop in quarterly revenue for the first time in thirteen years.
Apple's shares were down about 8% in pre-market trading Wednesday following its earnings report for the quarter ending March 26. Revenues came in at $50.55 billion, below analysts' expectation of $51.97 billion. Earnings per share of $1.90 also missed consensus by 10 cents.
Apple's third-quarter guidance also disappointed. The company now predicts revenue in the third quarter between $41 billion and $43 billion, while analysts expected guidance of $47.4 billion.
"[Apple] has gone from being a cyclical that's levered to the economic cycle to one that's levered to both an economic and product cycle," says Jim Cramer of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns Apple. "It's too cheap to sell, not cheap enough to buy. Call it a hold until the street totally turns on it and we are closer to a product launch that could plug the gaping hole of the next two quarters."Many analysts cut their price targets on Apple, but most maintained that their bullish theses on Apple are sound.
Here's a look at what they're saying.
Simona Jankowski, Goldman Sachs (Buy, Price target reduced from $155 to $136)
"We remove Apple from the CL [Conviction List]...We are disappointed by Apple's quarter and guidance, as it reflects a much weaker iPhone 6s product cycle than we had anticipated, with most of the negative surprise vs. our expectations coming from China. As such, we expect the shares to be weak in the near term, until the market gets comfortable around improving trends with the iPhone 7 product cycle. That said, we do not view the quarter as thesis-changing longer term. On a regional basis, Apple saw weakness in most geographies, with notable strength in Japan more than offset by challenges in China and the rest of the world. Overall, revenues declined 13% yoy, or 9% in constant currency. While the company does not disclose geographic performance by segment, we believe that these trends generally apply to Apple's iPhone segment as well. Further, the company noted the expectation for macro headwinds and FX headwinds to continue in 3Q."
T. Michael Walkley, Canaccord Genuity (Buy, Price target reduced from $146 to $130)
"We believe overall weaker-than-expected iPhone demand, continued USD strength, and customers waiting to upgrade to iPhone 7 contributed to the weak guidance. Guidance for Q3/F'16 also includes a sequential decline in iPhone ASPs consistent with June quarter trends and an increased mix of the lower ASP iPhone SE products. We anticipate a re-acceleration of replacement sales with the iPhone 7 to drive strong iPhone sales during F2017 with total iPhone unit sales increasing from 206M in F2016 to 230M in F2017."
Andy Hargreaves, Pacific Crest (Overweight, Price target reduced from $127 to $123)
"iPhone customers remain extremely loyal, and we believe the extraordinary utility of the smartphone provides room for a superior product to extract excess profits well into the future. This suggests that Apple is likely to continue growing iPhone unit sales over several years, albeit modestly, with a relatively stable gross margin profile...Apple's weaker-than-expected FQ3 (June) revenue and gross-margin guidance largely reflects poor demand forecasts that the company made early in the iPhone 6s cycle. The company over-filled the channel with high-end iPhone 6s units, and is now taking corrective action to clear the channel in front of the iPhone 7 cycle. While this has a clear negative impact on near-term results, it is largely backward-looking, in our view. Further, it does not change our view that replacement volume is likely to grow strongly in the iPhone 7 cycle, which should drive overall iPhone unit growth through F2017. We expect renewed iPhone unit growth to drive commensurate profit growth in F2017 and improve sentiment around the stock."
Mark Moskowitz, Barclays (Overweight, Price target reduced from $131 to $121)
"We expect shares of Apple to be under pressure near term. We had been concerned the stock's recent 'hope rally' overlooked the potential of more air pockets in the model, due to tenuous smartphone demand. Reality set in on Tuesday. Missing our recently lowered estimates, Mar-Q results and Jun-Q outlook upended any notion of the model bottoming. The silver lining is any near-term downdraft in Apple's stock could grab the attention of large long-only funds that trimmed positions in late 2015, early 2016...iPhone trends sing the blues. Assuming the other segments do not deviate too much, the iPhone appears to be the main driver of the company's big Jun-Q guidedown...Apple might need to embark on larger M&A in the order of $50Bn or more to build a broader content and services platform to revive the growth trajectory of a large, device-centric model currently."
Jeffrey Kvaal, Nomura (Buy, Price target reduced from $135 to $120)
"Greater China pivoted from14% YoY growth in December to a 26% decline in F2Q, equating to a 3.3mn YoY unit drop. The key US/European regions were far from stellar-the US fell 10% YoY (was -4%) and Europe 5% (was +5%). Apple needs time to escape from the hole it dug itself."
Tim Long, BMO Capital Markets (Outperform, Price target reduced from $130 to $117)
"The feared big unit miss that did not happen in December or March is hitting Apple in June. We now have units of 38 million for June, a miss of six million, half of which can be explained by channel inventory reduction. Regardless, we are taking a more cautious view on units since the replacement rate seems to be extending faster than we had modeled. The 80% growth in installed base for iPhones over the last two years is better than we had modeled, though our 50%+ estimate did not capture used phones. Our overall thesis is unchanged. We still believe iPhone subscribers will grow by 10%, representing a sharp deceleration from the last two years. This should result in mid-single digit unit growth assuming a longer phone life."
Sherri Scribner, Deutsche Bank (Hold, Price target unchanged at $105)
"Despite declines across all of AAPL's hardware categories, Services sales saw strong growth, although higher sales did not translate into improved margins. We continue to see shares as fairly valuing the long-term headwinds to growth, balanced by potential benefits from a growing Services mix... In our view, the most negative aspect of results was the 37.5-38.0% gross margin guidance for F3Q-16, driven by negative leverage and expected lower iPhone ASPs. In addition, weaker-than-expected sales guidance suggests soft iPhone demand."