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Why Apple’s Still a ‘Buy’: Sacconaghi

Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 | 12:56 PM ET
Why Apple's Still a 'Buy': Toni Sacconaghi
Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 | 12:18 PM ET
Apple still has innovation and growth ahead of it, Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi says.

Although he cut Apple's price target to $600 per share, Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said Wednesday that the company still has innovation and growth ahead of it.

"On the positive side, they did a very significant return of cash to shareholders. At the very high end, I think, of where investors were hoping," he said. "On the flip side, there was evidence of gross margin pressure."

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Sacconaghi acknowledged that the company's lowered guidance for the third quarter was "worrisome."

Apple's product mix had likely shifted to lower-priced items, putting a squeeze on margins, he added.

"Ultimately, my gross margin numbers came down, and my estimates came down, and my price target came down commensurately," Sacconaghi said.

He also laid out his reasoning for maintaining his rating on Apple stock.

"If you believe innovation is alive and well at Apple, then numbers are likely to go up, the stock is inexpensively valued and sentiment is likely to become more favorable on the stock," he said. "If you don't believe that premise, we could debate the valuation – it's probably worth somewhere between $350 and $400 – but I believe the former, and that's the basis for our 'outperform.'"

Trader disclosure: On April 24, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Steve Weiss is long T; Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long INTC; Pete Najarian is long BBRY; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT; Pete Najarian is short SBUX PUTs; Pete Najarian is short BX Puts.

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