Apple’s (AAPL) Stock Price Target Slashed by Goldman

Apple’s stock plunged a staggering 12.4% in pre-market trading on Thursday, staging its biggest percentage drop in over four years. Following the company’s earnings report of weaker-than-expected revenue, which confirmed Cupertino’s growth is slowing and gross margins are shrinking, the ticker slid to $450.50 (-$63.51) at the open on the Nas.

Apple (AAPL) shares hit an all time high of $705.07 on September 21, valuing the iPhone-maker at $658 billion. Since then, Apple, whose current market cap stands at $423 billion, has lost about $225 billion, or 35%, of its in market value.

Goldman Sachs (GS) cut Apple’s 12-month price target to $660 from $760 a share on Friday.

[via MW]”Apple’s guidance was essentially what we expected from the typically conservative management team. The problem, and the key disappointment in the [earnings] call, was that management made it pretty clear that it was moving towards providing more realistic guidance,” the bank said in a note to clients.

Apple has projected revenue in the current quarter that ends in March of between $41 billion and $43 billion, below the $45.5 billion the Street had expected.

Goldman also cut its 2013-2015 revenue estimates by 2% to 6% and EPS estimates by 6% to 14%. The bank however, kept Apple on its conviction-buy list, on “optimism that new products in the coming months will invigorate new user growth.”

Following Apple’s earnings report, a number of other brokerages, including Barclays Capital, BTIG Research, Credit Suisse, and Piper Jaffray also lowered their targets in light of Apple’s declining share price.

Gene Munster, a noted Apple bull, lowered his AAPL price-per-share target to $767 from $875. Munster had cut that target from $910 just two weeks ago.

[via LATimes]”We are buyers of Apple on the pullback following the company’s December quarter earnings report based on our belief that street numbers will be adequately reset and investors will return to the stock once the potential of new products comes into focus over the next three to six months,” Munster wrote. “We remain optimistic about shares of Apple.”

AAPL this morning is up $1.88, or 0.38%, to $452.20 in pre-market trading / 6:22AM EST – Nasdaq Real Time Price.

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