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Apple stock taking a beating on analyst note predicting soft summer iPhone X demand

Apple stock, and the market, are both taking a big hit after a notable analyst predicted in "in-line" quarterly earnings report accompanied with predictions for the June quarter being lower than what Wall Street is currently expecting.

Tim Cook and Jony Ive with the iPhone X



"We expect Apple to report an in-line March quarter," Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley wrote in a note to investors on Friday, that has been provided to AppleInsider. "But [we] are cautious into earnings on May 1 due to our belief that June quarter consensus estimates need to be revised lower."

Huberty claims iPhone supplier checks and weak data surrounding the Chinese iPhone market are the bases for her report.

However, Huberty still suggests that a dip is an opportunity to buy the stock, and that the group would be "buyers on any weakness" assuming that Services retain growth, and Apple continues its stock buyback program.

Morgan Stanley lowered its June quarter iPhone sales estimate to 34 million from 40.5 million. This stands in contrast to the 43 million average forecast by assorted Wall Street prognosticators.

Huberty lowered her price target to $200 from $203 for the company's stock. At Noon Eastern time on Friday, AAPL was priced at $166.87. The last time the stock was this low was April 2, when it closed the day at $166.68.

For the second fiscal quarter of 2018 that ended in March, Morgan Stanley predicts that Apple will report a year-over-year 3 percent growth of iPhone sales, climbing to 52.3 million phones. Revenue is expected to hit $60.2 billion with a gross margin of 38.5 percent.

Morgan Stanley iPhone predictions versus actual sales



Factors expected to impact Apple's earnings estimates for the third quarter include elevated DRAM prices, a weaker dollar than expected, and low NAND pricing. Huberty also predicts that Apple will shovel another $150 billion into stock buybacks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has historically warned Wall Street's pundits to not read too much into supply chain checks.

"The supply chain is very complex, and we obviously have multiple sources for things," said Cook in 2014 responding to reports of dismal iPhone sales that weren't true. "Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business."

Regardless if the predictions are accurate or not, fear is setting in amongst investors after a series of reports once again predicting a quarter that Apple has yet to issue guidance for. CNBC's Jim Cramer noted on the air on Friday morning that he would be "less worried about Apple after it reports."

Apple earnings, and quarterly predictions, are on May 1.