Apple Shares Slashed at Goldman

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After a dismal day on the markets, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) took another slap early this morning. Analysts at Goldman Sachs have cut their estimate 12-month price target for the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads from $760 to $660 a share. Apple does remain on Goldman’s prized Conviction Buy list.

Apple’s shares dropped more than 12% yesterday, to close at $450.50. It’s not that the company posted lousy numbers, it’s that everyone expected Apple to blast through estimates and that just did not happen.

As for the future, Goldman put it this way:

Apple’s guidance was essentially what we expected from the typically conservative management team. The problem, and the key disappointment in the call, was that management made it pretty clear that it was moving towards providing more realistic guidance.

That means no more big beats, which have driven Apple’s share price higher by generating exuberance, both rational and not, among investors. The effect of the big beats gave Apple the shine of a growth stock when the reality might have been something quite different.

Other risks Goldman noted included delayed product cycles, supply chain problems, price erosion and slowing innovation.

Apple’s shares are up fractionally in premarket trading this morning, at $452.20 in a 52-week range of $443.14 to $705.07.

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