Apple results: Analysts remain as upbeat as ever but investors wary

Forget that iPhone unit sales were not as strong as many had expected; that the revenue forecast fell short of the average estimate, and that there was no clarity on Apple Watch sales.

Analysts, for the most part, remain as upbeat as ever on Apple Inc after investors knocked more than $65 billion off the company's market value in initial reaction to the company's quarterly results on Tuesday.


Only one of 19 brokerages that issued reports assessing Apple's earnings cut its rating on the stock. Of the rest, 14 kept their "buy" or equivalent rating and four a "hold".

"We believe Apple's future prospects have never been brighter," Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White said in a research note, maintaining his "buy" rating.

Investors remained wary, however. Apple shares, which have risen almost 19 percent this year, were down 5.5 percent at $123.60 in early trading, representing a loss of about $50 billion in market value.

"As Apple has become the 'gold standard' of technology, it is held to a higher standard," said FBR analyst Daniel Ives, who described the iPhone maker's quarter as "good but not great."

Most analysts looked beyond the immediate disappointment.

"With a new iPhone around the corner, the seasonally stronger quarters ahead and a possible Apple TV update, coupled with valuation, we would be buyers on weakness," said analysts at Robert W. Baird, who rate the stock "outperform".

J.P. Morgan's Rod Hall was among those who said the stock's fall had been overdone, noting among other things the better-than-expected average selling prices for iPhones in the quarter.

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