With Apple (AAPL) sliding to a new one-year low, the raging debate among analysts as to whether AAPL remains a buy, continues. According to Dan Niles, a senior portfolio manager for AlphaOne Capital Partners, Apple’s price-per-share will keep dropping if Cupertino doesn’t announce a dividend increase when it reports earnings next week.
“In the near-term the biggest excitement, quite honestly, is if they move the dividend up when they report the quarter, a better cash return,” Niles told CNBC on Thursday. “That’s what I’m looking for and if they don’t do that then the stock could go quite a bit lower.”
Apple, which on a revenue basis has now missed three quarters in a row as a result of decelerating sales and downward trending margins, is forecast to have another weak quarter. But just because the March report is expected to shrink y/y, “does not mean that the earnings are already priced into the stock price, it could go even lower”, Niles said.
“Don’t forget, this company has missed three quarters in a row. The stock may have gone up because people were willing to ignore it for awhile, because it’s Apple and obviously Apple is going to $1,000 a share,” Niles said. “You remember how many people were on CNBC making that call…my fundamental rule with investing in technology stocks, because unlike a lot of different industries, you have the market share leaders of yesteryear sometimes falling on bad times.”
He added: “Until you see products improving and demand improving, don’t try to guess where the bottom is because that is just a recipe get yourself into trouble.”
Apple closed at $390.53 a share Friday — its lowest closing PPS since its nosedive from $705 began last September.