Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall today published a new investor note in which he gives Apple shares a neutral rating as we move into the second fiscal quarter of the year. Hall says that Apple faces a “not so super cycle” amid “weakening” iPhone X demand…

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Investors have thrown around the “super cycle” term since last year, proclaiming a multitude of times that Apple’s iPhone sales would hit “super cycle” rates thanks to the iPhone X. Hall, however, doesn’t see that happening.

As noted by CNBC, Hall’s investor note explains that Goldman has a positive view for longer-term iPhone revenue growth, but weakening iPhone X demand plagues Apple in the short-term. Goldman Sachs believes that weakening iPhone X demand will “weigh on shares” throughout the second fiscal quarter:

“In particular, we see downside to consensus iPhone revenue forecasts in the June quarter and believe shares are unlikely to outperform while risk of estimates revisions remains.”

“We balance our positive view on longer-term iPhone revenue growth … with weakening near-term datapoints on iPhone X demand, which we think will likely weigh on shares ahead of the FQ2 earnings report,”

Hall puts a price target of AAPL at $161, which is down slightly compared to the price at the close of business on Wednesday. Looking forward to beyond June, Hall sees “a path” for earnings and share price increasing, but notes that investors will look for confidence that estimates have bottomed:

“Beyond June, we see a path for earnings and share price improvement, but believe investors will look for confidence that estimates have bottomed, which may not occur until FY19,” he wrote.

Apple revealed its Q1 2018 earnings last week, reporting a slight year-over-year decline in iPhone sales – which sent AAPL into correction territory. Tim Cook, however, was bullish on iPhone sales and the company continually noted how this year’s Q1 was one week shorter than last year’s.


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