Apple will face bigger challenges as 'China bites even more,' HSBC says
- Analysts at HSBC have taken down their Apple price target a week after the company reduced its quarterly revenue estimates.
- The challenges facing Apple include a mix of both China- and iPhone-specific concerns, HSBC told clients in a report Wednesday.
- Watch Apple trade live.
Analysts who turned negative on Apple in December - before the company's sales warning but long after Wall Street and suppliers began cautioning investors - are doubling down on their cautious view of the iPhone giant."Although we had expected challenges for Apple in China and other economies, the intensity has surprised us to the downside," HSBC analysts led by Erwan Rambourg told clients Wednesday in a report called, "China bites even more."Advertisement
As a result of both China-specific concerns and consumers shifting views of the iPhone, Rambourg and his team slashed their price target on the stock for a second time in two months, from $200 to $160 per share. They also cut both their revenue estimates for 2019 to 2021 by 5-7% and their net income estimates by 8-9%.
Rambourg thinks it will be difficult for Apple to "dramatically" raise its iPhone average selling price (ASP) in the coming years. The iPhone's ASP has long been cited as an issue for Apple, especially since it's climbed as interest in the product has begun to wane."Over the past 10 years, Apple's iPhone ASP has increased a dramatic +$220, or 40%, reflecting its growing value to both consumer and business markets, but nearly HALF of all that just came in FY18 alone, making a period of digestion now likely," Robert Cihra, an analyst at Guggenheim, said in November.
The firm had previously taken its recommendation on the stock from "buy" to "hold," calling for lackluster growth in emerging markets, a saturated smartphone market, and what it called peak iPhone growth.Read more: Apple is reportedly cutting iPhone production by 10% after one of the darkest weeks in its historyApple last week said that its quarterly revenue would come in more than 7% below expectations. The announcement sent Apple shares plummeting, drew dozens of stock price target reductions across Wall Street, caused a ripple effect across global markets, and inspired renewed calls for a more widespread economic slowdown.Advertisement
"China situation remains complex; patents disputes adds to the headwinds: China - which accounted for 20% of total Apple's revenue (hardware + services) in FY18 - remains important for Apple," HSBC said. "The US-China trade tensions appear to have not just impacted the Chinese economy, but also consumers' attitude towards Apple products."
Separately, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Wednesday that Apple was cutting iPhone production by 10% for the next three months. The reported development is a sign Apple was expecting to take a bigger hit this year, according to the publication.Apple shares have plunged 34% since hitting a record high of $233.47 in October.Advertisement
- Apple forever changed the biggest tech event of the year by not showing up
- A Wall Street chief strategist explains why we've dodged a recession for now - and lays out 5 trades for an explosive stock rebound
- India leaves borrowing calendar unchanged — sticks to its ₹12 lakh crore target for the year
- EA Play games will be available with Xbox Game Pass starting November 10
- Indians can now fly to Kenya and Bhutan under the new air bubble agreement, says Aviation Minister Puri
- Centre extends deadline for IT returns filing for 2019-20 to November 30
- September two-wheeler sales expectations — Hero MotoCorp expected to outperform Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor