Analysts: Apple's Stock Price Presented as an Opportunity

While some investment analysts are not suggesting that this is the time to be in the stock market, analysts who cover Apple think this really is a time to consider AAPL, according to MarketWatch on Wednesday.

"This dramatic decline fully discounts a recession and we would be buyers on weakness," said Richard Gardner of Citigroup.

"In their reports following the earnings on Wednesday, most of those analysts noted some concerns with Appleis outlook, but maintained an opinion that the company is far from a lost cause and that now is a good time for investors to buy -- in advance of what are believed to be more improvements and additions to the product line this year," wrote Rex Crum for MarketWatch.

"We are still positive on the stock," said Shebly Seyrafi of Caris & Co. Mr. Seyrafi changed his rating on Appleis shares to above average from buy, and also lowered his target price to $165 from $225 a share. Mr. Seyrafi based that on a slowing growth rate of iPods and disappointing notebook sales compared to the quarter before, even though they were up 38 percent year-over-year.

"In short, Apple needs Macs and iPhones to pick up the slack for a maturing iPod category, which could still become more evident over the long term in our view," Ben Reitzes wrote in a note to clients. Mr. Reitzes trimmed his price target to $200 from $235.

Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research pulled back to a target of US$165 while Bear Stearnsi Andy Neff thinks Apple is in a better position in 2008 than last year and set his target at US$220.

"Apple is on the cusp of multiple product cycles," Mr. Neff commented. "Weire actually more comfortable on Appleis drivers due to iPhone shipping, accelerating Mac momentum and digital video, where video rentals [are] just starting."

AAPL closed at US$139.07 on Wednesday, down $16.57 for the day.

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In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.