Barclays downgrades Apple, says investors are pinning too much hope on the iPhone 8


Tim Cook

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Barclays analysts said they do not see "meaningful upside potential" in Apple stock in a note distributed to clients on Tuesday.


Basically, Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz believes that investors are putting too much stock in the iPhone 8 "supercycle" later this year.

Apple is expected to release a significantly redesigned iPhone this fall that some analysts believe will return the product line to sales growth given the large buildup of current iPhone users waiting to upgrade.

"Our chief concern is that investors increasingly are hoping for a meaningful exit rate (i.e., 10%-plus year-over-year unit growth) led by the iPhone 8 cycle in the second half of 2017. Our view is that customers increasingly mixing down (iPhone 6S in favor of iPhone 7) and maturation of the device-centric consumer electronics adoption wave could weigh on both Apple and the smartphone market," Moskowtiz wrote.

Ultimately, Barclays still believes that Apple is a good stock to long-term investors, especially given the company's large cash balance and products that retain customers from year-to-year.


"Long-term growth opportunities related to India, services, the enterprise, artificial intelligence, and maybe even the Cloud still exist; however, we do not expect these potential 'what's next?' opportunities to emerge as major needle movers over the next 12 months for Apple's model," Markowitz wrote.

Barclays downgraded the iPhone maker from "overweight" to "equal weight" and dropped its price target to $117 from $119.

"This call is not on the quarter," Moskowitz wrote. Apple reports quarterly earnings on January 31.