If you own Apple stock (AAPL), reports on slowing demand for the latest suite of iPhones "should be taken seriously," says one long-time tech analyst.
"The reports make it sound like people are delaying purchasing because they don't think they can get an iPhone," said Tom Forte, DA Davidson analyst, on Yahoo Finance Live.
Apple's stock fell more than 3% on Thursday on a report from Bloomberg that the tech giant was indicating to component suppliers it may order fewer units than planned due to weakening consumer demand. The company had reportedly already cut iPhone orders for the year to 80 million from a prior target of 90 million.
Investors believed that cut is due to the COVID-19 supply chain bottlenecks hitting corporate America rather than waning consumer interest in the new crop of iPhones. But, the Bloomberg report casts fresh doubt on that thesis.
Apple's stock had been one of the hottest names in the market amid the latest stretch of broader market COVID-19 driven volatility as traders viewed the name as a safe-haven. Shares had gained an impressive 12% from Nov. 11 to Nov. 30, according to Yahoo Finance Plus data. The Nasdaq fell 1% during the same span.
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Forte added part of the near-term bullishness in Apple's stock also reflected optimism on the introduction of an Apple car. But now, worries on the interest in the iPhone 13 is of more importance.
Added Forte, "I am a little concerned about how strong Apple's stock has been given the commentary. I am wondering if there is am embedded call option [on the Apple car]. I think that might be part of what's going on, but I do think the stock has been surprisingly strong."
Forte rates Apple's stock a Buy with a $170 price target.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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