Barron’s: Wait for Apple to hit $165 before you buy

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From Tae Kim’s Why Apple’s Stock Slide Could Continue ($):

New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu, who downgraded Apple to Sell in August, says he now has more conviction on his call. “The news flow of recent weeks really supports well our perspective,” Ferragu wrote in an email to Barron’s. “The disappointing performance of the iPhone XR shows….High-end buyers are happy to spend more for a fancier phones. It is much less true for budget buyers.”

Ferragu has a price target of $165 on Apple stock, the lowest on Wall Street. He says Apple’s current cycle is similar to what happened with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in 2015 to 2016, when the popularity of prior models had pulled demand forward. Weak demand for the 6S model year sparked a painful selloff in Apple shares. The stock fell 32% from peak to trough before beginning the recovery that culminated in the trillion-dollar market value this summer…

Ferragu predicts that iPhone unit shipments will fall 9% in fiscal 2019, which is in the same ballpark as the 8% drop in 2016. For now, Wall Street analysts are expecting only a 2% decline in fiscal-2019 iPhone unit sales. If Ferragu is correct again, then there is a good bit of downside to go. Using the nearly 30% drop from 2015 to 2016, Apple could bottom out in the mid-$160s, down 16% from Friday’s close.

At that point, we would officially call Apple a bargain.

My take: When your go-to source is the only sell-side analyst with the price target below $185—and the only one with a Sell on the stock—this is what you get. Before he joined London-based New Street Research, Ferragu worked for 10 years at Toni Sacconaghi’s Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., although I don’t see his name on any of Sacconaghi’s Apple notes from that period.

See also: Look who put a Sell on Apple

Below: My current price-target spreadsheet: