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Without an ‘iTV,’ Apple’s growth could shrink to the single digits by 2015

Dan Graziano
December 21st, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Apple Growth Slowing Analyst

Another analyst believes that Apple is losing its shine. Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research on Thursday trimmed his price target for the company, citing concerns that growth may be slowing. The analyst believes that iPhone sales will remain strong for at least the next two years, however Apple (AAPL) is expected to lose overall market share “if it does not bring out a lower-price device” in the wake of a changing industry. Sacconaghi notes that the iPad should continue to see success in a tablet market that is “a rocket…an absolute juggernaut,” with tablet PC shipments estimated to more than triple over the next five years. It is believed, however, that Apple will likely become a single digit growth company by 2015, unless it releases a new major product such as an HDTV.

“That said, it will have a pristine balance sheet, and be generating a mind-boggling $49 billion in free cash flow a year after paying its current dividend,” Sacconaghi wrote in a note to investors, according to Forbes. “More importantly, we believe that Apple’s innovation offers significant option value, which is not in our forecast. Three years ago, the iPad did not exist. Today it generates $32 billon in annual revenues, and as a standalone business would be the 11th biggest U.S. tech company. Potential ‘options’ for Apple investors include a lower-end iPhone, a television ‘solution,’ a larger iPad or converged device and monetizing advertising, e-commerce and search from its iOS platform (and credit card database) of 435 million users.”

The analyst kept his Outperform rating on shares of Apple, although he trimmed his price target from $800 to $750 and lowered his 2013 fiscal year EPS forecast to $49.41 per share, from $50.57.

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