UPDATE 1-Morgan Stanley, RBC downgrade Apple; shares fall

lunedì 29 settembre 2008 14:53

(Changes source; adds details, share movement)

Sept 29 (Reuters) - At least two brokerages downgraded their ratings on Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quotazione), citing tough spending environment, sending the iPhone maker's shares down about 6 percent in trading before the bell.

Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty cited a "decelerating" growth in personal computer unit, while noting that the remaining source of growth was increasingly in the sub-$1,000 market where Apple does not play.

Huberty also warned of slowing earnings growth for the company, partly due to the investments being made in iPhone. He downgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" and cut the price target to $115 from $178.

RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky said in a note to clients that the visibility into Apple's growth and margins were reduced in this tough environment.

Citing recent data on consumer spending, Abramsky noted that the recent declines in consumers wanting to buy a Mac desktop or laptop were the biggest in the last two and a half years.

Abramsky downgraded the stock to "sector perform" from "outperform" and cut his price target to $140 from $200.

Shares of Apple were trading down about 6 percent at $120.90 before the bell. They closed at $128.24 Friday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)