Apple shares close slightly higher on Friday, Citi Research slashes first-quarter iPhone production estimates

December 30, 2018 1:55 pm

During the past week Citi Research revised down its first-quarter production forecasts for Apple Inc’s (AAPL) iPhone models, with projection for the priciest iPhone XS Max being almost halved due to weak demand.

Apple shares closed higher for the third time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Friday. The stock inched up 0.05% ($0.08) to $156.23, after touching an intraday high at $158.49, or a price level not seen since December 20th ($162.11).

Shares of Apple Inc have retreated 7.68% so far in 2018 compared with a 7.03% drop for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2017, Apple’s stock gained 46.11%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 19.42% return.

According to Citi Research, Apple Inc is expected to produce as many as 45 million iPhones during the first quarter, or a downward revision from 50 million devices, as expected previously. The lower estimate mostly reflected weak outlook for the iPhone XS Max, as the brokerage firm cut its forecast for the device by 48%.

“The material cut in our forecasts is driven by our view that 2018 iPhone is entering a destocking phase, which does not bode well for the supply chain,” Citi Research analyst William Yang wrote in a note to clients, cited by Reuters.

Earlier this month, TF International Securities also lowered its first-quarter iPhone shipment forecast by 20%.

According to CNN Money, the 33 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Apple Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $215.00, with a high estimate of $300.00 and a low estimate of $165.00. The median estimate represents a 37.62% upside compared to the closing price of $156.23 on December 28th.

The same media also reported that 20 out of 42 surveyed investment analysts had rated Apple Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 18 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

Weekly Pivot Levels

By using the traditional method of calculation, the weekly levels of importance for Apple Inc (AAPL) are presented as follows:

Central Pivot Point – $153.77
R1 – $160.95
R2 – $165.67
R3 – $172.85
R4 – $180.03

S1 – $149.05
S2 – $141.87
S3 – $137.15
S4 – $132.43

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