|Apple's stock continues to fall today (down a point or 2.42% at 40 3/8) despite Apple's stellar quarterly results and yesterday's upgrade from Kevin McCarthy of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to a buy rating. The apparent cause of this fall seems to be part of the general market decline as well as a downgrade and negative comments from Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner.
Mr. Gardner's concerns center around the iMac and future sales with Mr. Gardner saying he felt Apple should have lowered the price of the new iMac more than the US$1199 price point set at MacWorld. According to Mr. Gardner in a note to clients:
"We were disappointed in Apple's unwillingness to reduce iMac prices during the December quarter. During the seasonally weaker March quarter, the iMac will have even more intense competition from Intel-based PCs since Intel appears to have overproduced Celerons which must now be sold at reduced prices during the March quarter."
The Sands Bros. also downgraded Apple's stock while Lou Mazzucchelli, an analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co. raised his target price for Apple from US$55 to US$60 (he currently rates Apple as a Buy).
The Mac Observer Spin: Even stronger than these warnings and upgrades is the general market correction that seems to be occurring in the stock markets right now. The markets have declined in each of the last 4 sessions and Apple is just taking collateral damage. Apple's decline can be seen as more of a reflection of the market in general as opposed to an independent valuation of the company (at least for the moment).