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Piper Sandler sees tough March ahead for Apple, remains neutral

iPhone 15 Pro

Despite an earnings beat for Q1 2024, Piper Sandler believes the iPhone will see continued headwinds leading to a challenging March quarter.

Apple beat Wall Street's expectations with $119.58 billion in revenue for Q1 2024. Even iPhone revenue was up year-over-year after a slump in 2023, but market headwinds continue to concern investors.

In a note seen by AppleInsider, investment firm Piper Sandler has set a neutral rating for Apple. Also, it has reduced the price target to $190 from $205.

Piper Sandler says it is on the sidelines, waiting for a cleaner handset growth environment. Otherwise, Apple's brand remains strong with the Apple Vision Pro launch, standout services performance, and good-enough iPhone sales that beat headwinds from China.

On the earnings call, Apple made it clear that it was expecting similar growth in Q2 2024, similar to growth in Q2 2023. iPhone revenue is also expected to be similar year-over-year.

That said, Piper Sandler has revised its estimates, shifting to an EPS of $6.51 on revenue of $386.9 billion across 2024. That's down from an estimated EPS of $6.69 on $400.7 billion.

The 2025 estimates also saw deductions. The firm estimates an EPS of $6.91 on revenues of $409.6 billion, down from an EPS of $7.28 on revenue of $425.6 billion.

Piper Sandler rates Apple as neutral, with a price target of $190.