Analyst Lowers Estimates, Maintains Buy Rating on AAPL

Citigroup analyst Richard Gartner lowered both his estimates and share price target for Apple Inc. Tuesday, but maintained a "Buy" rating on the stock. Mr. Gartner made the changes due to the current economic climate, and in order to reflect, "a more conservative view of consumer spending."

Mr. Gardner, who has long covered Apple, lowered his target price for AAPL to US$132 per share, down from $153 per share. For the December quarter (Apple's first fiscal quarter for 2009), Mr. Gardner expects Apple to turn in a profit of $1.42 per share, but he lowered estimates for the rest of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Apple will report results for the December quarter on January 21st, 2009.

Mr. Gardner also told clients that, "we would be aggressive buyers" of shares in AAPL should they slip another $7 or $8 per share. Apple ended the day down $.95 per share (-$1.07) to close at $87.71.

*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.