Analyst says Apple's iPhone profits have probably peaked

theflyonthewall.com

The profits generated by Apple's (AAPL) iPhone probably peaked last year, and the company's upcoming cheaper phone may be too expensive, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a note to clients earlier today. WHAT'S NEW: The market for smartphones in developed markets are now saturated, and there is little difference between the iPhone and competing products offered by Samsung (SSNLF) and HTC, the analyst believes. Moreover, Apple's new, lower cost iPhone, expected to cost $350-$450, may be too expensive for consumers in developing markets, where most of the growth in smartphone sales will occur going forward, the analyst contended. Most consumers in these countries can only afford to pay less than $200 for a smartphone, he believes. As a result of all of these factors, Apple's fiscal 2014 earnings per share may be more than 20% below analysts' expectations, warned Misek, who maintained a $420 price target and Hold rating on the stock. TODAY'S PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Apple rose $7, or 1.6%, to $436. OTHERS TO WATCH: Broadcom (BRCM) could benefit from a proliferation of smartphones that cost less than $200, as Samsung appears to be incorporating Broadcom's chip into its low and mid level smartphones for developing markets, Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis wrote. He maintained a $40 price target and Buy rating on Broadcom.

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