March 4, 2008 / 4:10 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Caris cuts Apple 2008 EPS view, target

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March 4 (Reuters) - Caris & Co cut its 2008 earnings view on Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to reflect lower iPhone and iPod estimates, and said it expects the enterprise smartphone market to be dominated by Research in Motion Ltd RIM.TO RIMM.O and Nokia NOK1V.HE in the near future.

Caris cut its price target on Apple to $155 from $165, but continued to rate the stock “above average.”

“We are lowering our iPhone estimates to reflect information out of Asian handset suppliers noting that Apple lowered its projected shipments of iPhones for fiscal second-quarter,” the brokerage said.

It lowered fiscal 2008 iPhone units estimates to 8.9 million from 11.7 million.

Research in Motion will likely have a higher smartphone market share than Apple as Research in Motion has more carriers, better technology and more phones, Caris said.

Apple had said it will unveil new iPhone features aimed at businesses, potentially stepping up competition with Research In Motion’s popular Blackberry devices. Apple said it will detail the software road map for the iPhone on March 6.

The brokerage also cut fiscal 2008 iPod unit estimates to 52.1 million from 54.6 million to reflect slower U.S. consumer spending.

On Monday, RBC Capital Markets cut its price target on Apple to $175 from $200, while Banc of America lowered its target to $160 from $180. Both brokerages maintained their top ratings on the stock.

Shares of Apple were up 24 cents at $121.97 in morning trade on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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