Jefferies (JEF) analyst Peter Misek this morning cut his price target on Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares to $800 from $900, noting that while he still maintains a ‘Buy’ rating on the ticker,” he believes the iPhone-maker’s growth is going slow to just 20% by fiscal 2014, as the markets become saturated with its products.[via Barrons] “Very early CY14 iPhone build plans indicate a deceleration to ~20%, likely due to developed market smartphone saturation. Also, Asia suppliers cite multiple factors (e.g., investments for next-gen technology, slower/more expensive semi node transitions) for a decrease in the rate of cost concessions Apple typically receives,” Misek wrote in his note to investors.
He predicted that Apple will launch its next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, in June or July, compared to the fall launches for the iPhone 5, and iPhone 4S, respectively.[via MW] “We shift our iPhone 5S launch timing from calendar fourth quarter to calendar third quarter, (boosting FY13 EPS)…”
Misek also said he expects Apple’s iTV to be unveiled in the fall of 2013.
Citing Tim Cook’s recent NBC appearance as evidence of a forthcoming Apple -TV, Misek speculates that “Cook would not have made his statements more than a year in advance of a new product category for Apple factor with no home button.”
Misek notes in his report Apple could introduce at the same event as the iPhone 5S a low-cost iPhone, which according to the analyst, has not yet “greenlit,” but is still possible.[ The Street] “We believe the device would primarily be targeting pre-paid markets, and emerging markets, especially in Asia. We believe the device would have a $200-$250 price point,” Misek wrote.
As for the near term, Misek stresses that he sees “solid” results. He maintains his earnings estimates for the company’s calendar fourth quarter at $59.6 billion in revenue and $15 a share in profits, well ahead of the Street at $54.6 billion and $13.52. For the March quarter he’s sticking with $53.5 billion and $14.98 a share estimates, ahead of consensus at $47.8 billion and $12.49.
Apple shares, which are up 32% from January, are lower in mid-Monday trading, off $3.76, or 0.71 percent, to 529.49.
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