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Apple estimates cut again amid fears of sluggish iPhone demand


Another Wall Street firm has cut expectations for Apple amid fears of soft smartphone and overall iPhone demand.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley reduced his 12-month price target to $225 from $250 over the next year. The new target is still 24 percent higher than Wednesday’s closing price.

Canaccord Genuity also lowered its 2019 and 2020 earnings per share estimates. It now expects EPS of $13.25 next year and $14.69 in 2020 versus $13.46 and $15.18 previously. Walkley slashed his iPhone units sales expectations to 213 million in 2018, 208 million in 2019 and 217 million in 2020.

“Our surveys indicated soft smartphone demand with disappointing initial XR sales,” Walkley wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Given the soft start to the latest lineup of iPhones, we are lowering our iPhone estimates and forecast lower year-over-year unit sales in calendar 2019.”

The analyst said muted demand for the XR fell short of his high expectations. He added that survey feedback for “lackluster” initial sales included its inferior quality perception given its aluminum construction versus the XS and XS Max, as well as lack of an HD screen and lower-cost options in the older iPhone X and 8 models.

Despite the target cut, Walkley still has a buy rating on the company’s stock. Shares of Apple rose 0.9 percent in premarket trading Thursday.