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Loop Capital cuts AAPL price target to $170 over weak iPhone demand

iPhone 15 Pro colorful lineup

Projecting that Apple's annual revenue will decline in 2024, investment firm Loop Capital says iPhone demand is too soft.

Other investment firms such as JP Morgan are predicting a recovery for Apple in China, while ones like Morgan Stanley, believe the company will benefit from cancelling the Apple Car. However, Loop Capital is concentrating on the iPhone, and sees only increasing problems for Apple.

Analyst Ananda Baruah says that she now believes that both Apple's overall revenue and its earnings per share, will decline in 2024. That would be the first time this has happened since 2016.

"Simply put, iPhone unit shipments are simply too soft owning to both organic demand but also to competition," said Baruah. He says that current estimates for Apple's March quarter results are at "some risk," while the June quarter earnings face a "material risk."

According to Loop Capital, Apple the average selling prices for iPhones across the range, and across the world, are flattening. Baruah says that there is lower demand in China, and that iPhone sales overall are back to pre-COVID levels.

A second Loop Capital report, this time primarily from analyst John Donovan, claimed that Apple has significantly cut its orders for the iPhone 15 range. According to Donovan, the cut is between 7% and 8%, meaning Apple now forecasts selling 199 million iPhones across 2024.

As a consequence, Loop Capital has reduced its price target from $185 to $175. Baruah does say that news of generative AI and the potential future success of the Apple Vision Pro could act as catalysts to improve Apple's position.