Apple: Most Undervalued Stock on Wall Street?
Apple shares have been trounced over the past few months, for a variety of reasons. However, one of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street thinks Apple is the most undervalued stock it covers.
Goldman Sachs' research department has put out a list with the top 40 most undervalued companies compared to its analysts' price targets. Apple has 44.9-percent upside compared to its price target of $660, which was lowered after it reported earnings results in late January. Some of the other names on this list include Ford, National Oilwell Varco, and Joy Global.
After Apple reported first-quarter earnings, Goldman technology analyst Bill Shope cut his price target to $660. In his note, Shope said that the results were "a tough setback, but the story is not broken." Shope cut Apple's price target to $660 from $760, but reiterated his "Conviction List Buy" rating going forward.
Apple has been the subject of much criticism in recent months on worries that consumers aren't taking to the last iDevice, and that the company needs the "next big thing" to show that it still has innovation left in the tank, and that it's not resting on Steve Jobs' laurels.
The market has heeded these worries and then some, sending the stock down 16.88 percent year-to-date, and 28.16 percent over the past six months. In the fall of 2012, Apple could do no wrong, with its stock price over $700, and it seemed like there was no end to the company's upside. Even noted hedge fund manager David Einhorn described Apple as "misunderstood," noting that it could be the first $1 trillion company if CEO Tim Cook continued to build on the legacy of his iconic predecessor.
Then Apple released a barrage of products, from the iPhone 5 to the iPad mini, a new iPad, and a slew of new Macs, and sentiment seemingly changed on a dime. Hedge funds were paring or dumping their positions in the tech giant, with Einhorn paring his position, and others following suit. Apple missed fourth-quarter estimates and missed Wall Street consensus again this quarter.
Despite all of these worries and concerns that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm has lost its way, Goldman still believes in the company, and the stock.
The question remains: Does the rest of Wall Street (buy-side and sell-side) still believe?
—By TheStreet.com's Chris Ciaccia
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