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Analyst revise Apple stock price targets amidst earnings

Analyst revise Apple stock price targets amidst earnings

Though known for over a decade as the stock every investor should own, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been on a substantial downtrend with neither of its two rallies – as Jim Cramer himself predicted in the latter case – managing to hold.

Indeed, after getting a short-term boost upon intensifying its artificial intelligence (AI) discussion and again after Bernstein upgraded its assessment, Apple is set for another potential make or break moment for the first half of 2024 – its Q1 earnings report.

Ahead of the report, multiple analyst firms updated their analyses of the stock with Bernstein, offering a generous upgrade to the technology giant.

Analysts revise AAPL price targets ahead of earnings

Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi opined that having seen a substantial decline during the first four months of 2024, AAPL shares are now poised for a surge and, according to the analyst, will rise to $195 – an 11.54% increase from their press time price of $170.01.

For his part, Jim Cramer, despite being long-term bullish on the big tech stock, warned against trusting Sacconaghi’s assessment of Apple.

Citigroup’s (NYSE: C) Atif Malik appears to be more in line with Cramer’s opinion as, in his own analysis published on the same day as Bernstein’s, he downgraded AAPL price target from $220 to $210 – though Citi maintained a buy rating.

Days earlier, on April 22, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) made a very similar assessment, also reducing the blue chip’s target from $220 to $210 while retaining the ‘overweight’ rating.

AAPL Q1 EPS forecast

As for the upcoming report, the consensus for AAPL is hardly bullish as experts forecast earnings per share (EPS) of $1.51 – slightly below the $1.52 reported for Q1 2023. Additionally, it would represent a decrease from the final quarter of the previous year which saw an EPS of $2.18.

Still, the longer-term projections are substantially more bullish – much as is the case with Cramer’s own assessment of Apple’s prospects – and, for example, the press time consensus for the final quarter of 2024 stands at $2.29.

AAPL stock price

The cautious approach to Apple can easily be explained simply by looking at the firm’s stock market performance in 2024. Since the start of the year, AAPL shares have declined 8.25%.

AAPL stock YTD price chart. Source: Google

Additionally, despite several attempted rallies, Apple stock failed to break the downtrend by press time, with the late April gains seemingly being erased by May 1. 

Finally, Apple stock price today stands at $170.01 as the firm logged a 0.19% drop from its latest closing price of $170.33.

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