Apple shares fall for a third straight session on Monday, company to close all stores in mainland China amid coronavirus fears

Apple Inc (AAPL) said during the weekend that it would close all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until February 9th amid rising coronavirus outbreak concerns as the death toll has reached more than 350.

This way Apple is joining a group of international companies such as McDonald’s Corp and Starbucks Corp to temporarily close stores as a precautionary measure.

Apple shares closed lower for a third consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Monday. The stock went down 0.27% ($0.85) to $308.66, after touching an intraday low at $302.36, or a price level not seen since January 8th ($297.16).

Shares of Apple Inc have added 5.11% to their value so far in 2020 compared with a 0.56% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Apple’s stock went up 86.16%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9,” Apple Inc said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

The tech giant also said it would look to re-open all stores “as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, other companies have advised their employees in China to work remotely and to discontinue non-essential business travel during the first week of February.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 36 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $347.50, with a high estimate of $400.00 and a low estimate of $190.00. The median estimate represents a 12.58% upside compared to the closing price of $308.66 on February 3rd.

The same media also reported that at least 22 out of 41 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 14 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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