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Apple’s ‘slower pace of product innovation’ seen hurting performance

Apple Innovation

Apple (AAPL) continues to feel the heat after a monumental shift in sentiment that saw the company’s share price plummet more than 35% after hitting a record high in late September. Though Apple posted record earnings for its most recent quarter, the Street continues to voice concern over the company’s future growth prospects. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest high-profile Apple bull to cut its outlook as the firm voiced some worrisome concerns in a note to clients.

Goldman analysts on Tuesday removed Apple from the firm’s “Americas Conviction List,” populated by stocks it favors strongly.

“Based on Monday’s close, AAPL has gained 33.8% since being added the Conviction List on December 12, 2010, versus a 25.9% gain in the S&P 500,” the analysts wrote. “Our new 12-month target price is $575, from $660 previously, based on a 13X multiple (previously 14X) on our lowered CY2013 EPS estimate of $44.64 (previously $47.29).”

The firm points to several worries that factored into its decision, including “delayed product cycles, supply chain difficulties, product price erosion, and a slower pace of product innovation.” Apple’s ability to continue innovating at the breakneck pace it maintained over the past few years remains a top concern on Wall Street.

Goldman maintained a Buy rating on Apple shares despite trimming its price target.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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