Apple Shares Continue to Slide (NASDAQ:AAPL)

APPLEIt does not take much negative news to tip the balance on stocks like Apple. Shares of the tech giant were down another 2.5% Wednesday after falling 2.5% on Tuesday to close at $102.71. The once-hot stock is now careering toward the $100-a-share level — a price threshold bulls are hoping will finally hold. Apple’s stock hasn’t closed below $100 since late October 2014.

Shares of Apple have lost about 25% of their value from last year’s high and are at their lowest close since August 2015. Once a stock investors used to brag about holding, the shares are down 4% already this year coming off a 4.6% decline in 2015

Morgan Stanley recently cut its outlook for Apple smartphone sales. Morgan Stanley now sees smartphone shipments to fall 6% in the current fiscal year. Citing weak supply chain data points, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty cut her 2016 iPhone unit sales estimate by 12% and EPS estimate by 6%. A majority of Apple’s revenue comes from smartphones so any slowdown in sales would be problematic.

JPMorgan analyst Narci Chang noted in a report Monday that November sales in the iPhone component supply chain “signal signs of early weakness of Phone 6S cycle.”

Also, consensus iPhone sales estimates for Apple’s fiscal Q2 “seem unrealistic,” Chang said.

Apple seems hyper-sensitive to what the Federal Reserve is going to with interest rates this week as is the entire civilized world, falling 2.6% on Friday.

That would be fine except that other tech heavyweights are outperforming Apple and it is not close.  Shares of Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) have more than doubled this year. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) is up 44% and Microsoft (MSFT) 19% this year.

Analysts are all over the map when it comes to Apple Stock NASDAQ:AAPL

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was upgraded by stock analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors recently and Stifel Nicolaus restated their buy rating on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a research report sent to investors last week.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating restated by stock analysts at Barclays and cut the target price on the stock to $150.00.

Consensus Ratings for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Ratings Breakdown:  1 Sell Rating(s), 10 Hold Rating(s), 36 Buy Rating(s), 2 Strong Buy Rating(s)
Consensus Rating: Buy (Score: 2.80)
Consensus Price Target:  $145.59 (29.43% upside)

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