UBS Downgrades AAPL After Q4 Earnings Report

UBS analyst Maynard Um was pleased with Appleis solid fourth quarter earnings and above expectation iPhone sales, but sees macro-economic issues as a potential problem for the company. Because of that uncertainty, he is lowering his target price from US$125 to $115 for Appleis stock, and downgrading his rating from "Buy" to "Neutral."

Apple reported $7.9 billion in revenue and a $1.14 billion profit for its fourth fiscal quarter. The company shipped 2.611 million Macs, 11.05 million iPods, and 6.9 million iPhones during the quarter, boosting iPhone sales above Appleis goal of selling 10 million units by the end of the year.

"Apple sold 6.9 million iPhone units, well above our 4.2 million [estimate]. However, Macs & iPods were below our estimates," Mr. Um said.

The Cupertino-based company also racked up more phone sales than its rival RIM during the quarter, but that may not be enough to keep it from suffering during the U.S. financial downturn, according to Mr. Um.

"We are downgrading Apple to iNeutrali from iBuyi due to potential macro-economic issues impacting Mac sales. Apple should benefit from early adopters in FY1Q, but limited visibility beyond that," he said. "On iPhone, surprisingly high ASP ($635) seems unsustainable in an increasingly competitive market."

Mr. Umis Neutral rating for Appleis stock includes a $115 target price. Apple is currently trading at $98.80, up 7.31 (7.99%).

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