Analysts as upbeat as ever on Apple; Investors not so much

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:20pm EDT
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By Eileen Soreng and Lehar Maan

(Reuters) - Forget that iPhone unit sales were not as strong as many had expected; that the revenue forecast fell short of the average estimate, and that there was no clarity on Apple Watch sales.

Analysts, for the most part, remain as upbeat as ever on Apple Inc AAPL.O after investors knocked more than $65 billion off the company's market value in initial reaction to the company's quarterly results on Tuesday.

Only one of 20 brokerages that issued reports assessing Apple's earnings cut its rating on the stock. Of the rest, 15 kept their "buy" or equivalent rating and four a "hold".

"We believe Apple's future prospects have never been brighter," Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White said in a research note, maintaining his "buy" rating.

Investors remained wary, however.

Apple shares, which have risen almost 19 percent this year, closed down 4.3 percent at $125.14 on Wednesday, the stock's biggest intra-day percentage fall since December 2014.

"As Apple has become the 'gold standard' of technology, it is held to a higher standard," said FBR analyst Daniel Ives, who described the iPhone maker's quarter as "good but not great."

Most analysts looked beyond the immediate disappointment.   Continued...

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Segar -