Apple shares close lower on Friday, China retail stores reopening to be postponed

Closures of Apple Inc’s (AAPL) retail stores in China are expected to be extended because of the coronavirus outbreak, the tech company said.

Apple shares closed lower for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Friday. It has also been the steepest single-session loss since January 31st. The stock went down 1.36% ($4.41) to $320.03, after touching an intraday low at $318.18, or a price level not seen since February 4th ($313.63).

Shares of Apple Inc have added 8.98% to their value so far in 2020 compared with a 3.00% 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.

“We are working toward re-opening our corporate offices and contact centers the week of February 10, and we are making preparations to reopen our retail store,” Apple Inc said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

“We will continue to update our customers as opening dates are finalized,” the company said.

The tech giant announced earlier in February that it would close all of its official stores and corporate offices in mainland China until February 9th amid rising death toll stemming from the Wuhan-originated coronavirus outbreak.

Other companies have advised their employees in China to work remotely and to discontinue non-essential business travel to the country.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 37 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $350.00, with a high estimate of $400.00 and a low estimate of $190.00. The median estimate represents a 9.36% upside compared to the closing price of $320.03 on February 7th.

The same media also reported that at least 22 out of 42 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 15 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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