Apple stock has dropped below $400 again as an analyst lowered his forecast for the company. Wall Street, apparently, is losing faith that Apple can return to its brief glory days of 2012 as the mobile-fueled technology highflier it was.
Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. cut his price target for Apple to $405 from $420 while lowering his estimates of iPhone sales, precipitating a 3 percent drop in stock price to about $399 and dropping Apple’s Wall Street valuation to $375 billion. That’s below Exxon Mobile’s $393 billion market cap as the oil company once again surpasses Apple as the most valuable corporation in the world. The two stocks have been jockeying for that leader’s yellow jacket over the past year.
The last few days of Apple have not been kind:
Another bad sign for the stock is that Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Peter Oppenheimer, and Craig Federighi, recently cashed in stock options to the tune of $86 million. That should have been counterbalanced by the fact that Cook’s new executive compensation package — which he asked for — is closely tied to his and Apple’s performance, putting a big chunk of his future earnings at risk if Apple does not pull out of its stock market tailspin.
However, Cook warned Wall Street not to expect significant new products until the fall or winter. Apparently, neither a sneak peek at Apple’s new mobile operating system for iPhone, iOS 7, nor a second sneak peek at an upcoming Mac Pro minitower, was enough to change analysts’ opinions that Apple has lost the mobile leadership crown.
Apple stock hit an all-time high in September at over $700 a share, but since November, Google stock has killed it while Apple stock has languished. Until Apple launches new products and retakes some of its market leadership momentum, experts says, that situation is likely to persist.