Shares of Apple (AAPL) dipped 1.2% to $181.96 on Thursday after receiving its second downgrade this week. Despite a 5.5% decline this year, the stock still boasts a significant 46% gain over the past 12 months.
Piper Sandler analysts, Harsh Kumar and Robert Aguanno, downgraded Apple from Overweight to Neutral in a recent semiconductors industry report. They also revised their price target on the shares from $220 to $205. Kumar and Aguanno are anticipating a challenging first half of 2024 for the analog market, handset, and consumer end markets. However, they remain optimistic about the GPU accelerator and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven compute markets throughout calendar year 2024.
The downgrade primarily revolves around concerns surrounding the iPhone. Piper Sandler cited worries about inventory levels in the first half of the year, potential growth rate limitations for unit sales, and a weakening macroeconomic environment in China. Additionally, negative headlines regarding legal challenges and temporary sales pauses for certain versions of the Apple Watch were mentioned as possible distractions.
Barclays analyst, Tim Long, also echoed some of these concerns as he lowered his rating on Apple shares to Underweight from Equal Weight. Long adjusted his price target to $160 from $161.
Despite the downgrades, the majority of analysts remain bullish on Apple stock, with 61% rating it Buy according to FactSet data.