Wells Fargo downgrades Apple stock over market concerns

Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um decided to keep Apple's shares in the same $536-to-$581 range, however.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's shares might have some trouble growing in 2014, a new analyst report claims.

Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um on Tuesday issued an Apple stock downgrade, pushing the company's shares from "Outperform" to "Market Perform." The move, however, did not include a change to Um's 12-month prediction on Apple's share price of $536 to $581. Apple is currently trading at $553.

According to StreetInsider, which obtained a copy of the analyst note, Um said that there are three issues Apple will face in 2014 that could put a damper on its share price: the possibility of a declining profit on each iPhone 6 sale, limited market opportunities in Apple's current competitive landscape, and his believe that mobile power will side with carriers this year, rather than handset makers.

The analyst note focuses heavily on financial data, but makes a clear point: despite the downgrade, Apple is still expected to have a solid year, thanks in large part to the iPhone 6. Um also believes an iWatch launch this year will help the company generate more revenue.

Apple is still an overwhelming "Buy" on Wall Street, with 53 analysts giving the company that rating. Just two analysts say it's time to sell.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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