Shares of Apple Inc.
gained 0.3% in morning trading Thursday, after Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal raised his price target to $240 from $225, saying a bullish view based the technology giant’s “robust” ecosystem, multiple expansion and a “strong” balance sheet holds merit. He kept his rating at neutral, however, as “a looming recession and inflated supercycle expectations sufficiently undermine the bull case to restrain our rating to neutral.” Meanwhile, Kvaal said the COVID-19 pandemic’s ability to “rapidly shift pressure points on Apple,” from supply, to near-term demand to long-term macroeconomic concerns, “has scrambled our investment view and heightened our already elevated angst over our neutral view.” He cut his fiscal 2020 earnings-per-share estimate to $12.38 from $13.20–the FactSet consensus is $12.61–and his 2021 EPS outlook to $13.86 from $15.35. The stock has lost 9.1% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has declined 16.2%.