Apple shares close lower on Friday as Goldman Sachs downgrades stock to “Sell”, iPhone shipments to shrink 36% in fiscal third quarter

Goldman Sachs on Friday revised down its rating on Apple Inc (AAPL) to ”Sell”, as the bank said it projected a 36% decrease in iPhone shipments during Apple’s fiscal third quarter ending in June. The bank cited lockdowns across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Goldman also revised down its 12-month price target on the stock to $233, citing a likely drop in average selling prices of consumer devices during a downturn.

Apple shares closed lower for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Friday. It has also been the steepest single-session loss since April 3rd. The stock went down 1.36% ($3.89) to $282.80, after touching an intraday low at $276.90, or a price level not seen since April 13th ($265.88).

Shares of Apple Inc have retreated 3.69% so far in 2020 compared with an 11.03% loss 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 do not assume that this downturn results in Apple losing users from its installed base. We simply assume that existing users will keep devices longer and choose less expensive Apple options when they do buy a new device,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a client note, cited by Reuters.

According to the Wall Street bank, the upcoming iPhone models may not be launched until early November, since restrictions on global travel could hinder Apple’s final engineering and production process. Last week the tech giant launched a smaller iPhone at a price of $399.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 38 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $315.00, with a high estimate of $380.00 and a low estimate of $225.00. The median estimate represents an 11.39% upside compared to the closing price of $282.80 on April 17th.

The same media also reported that at least 26 out of 41 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 9 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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