Analyst cites survey showing shift in Apple iPhone buying patterns in cutting earnings estimates
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich says that this shift to lower priced units combined with higher launch costs could cost Apple a reduction of 8 to 10 percentage points in gross margin in fiscal year 2013. As a result, the analyst now expects fiscal year 2013 profit of $44.68 a share, down from $47 previously estimated. For fiscal year 2014, he sees Apple reporting profit of $52.80 a share, down from his earlier forecast of $55.85 a share. Milunovich has cut his target on Apple's stock to $650 from $700 while keeping his "Buy" rating on the shares.
Milunovich see's a 2% to 6% drop in the phone's average selling price over the next three quarters, reducing his gross margin forecast by 1% over fiscal year 2013. His buy rating is based on a positive risk/reward ratio at current prices. He sees strong growth, a deal with China Mobile by the fourth quarter, and too much pessimism about Apple losing its edge in innovation, pushing the stock higher.
source: CIRP via Forbes