Sacconaghi does acknowledge Apple’s strength, warning investors not to be “too cute” with the stock, because “it’s a great fundamental long-term story.”
In the short term, however, another analyst has a “hold” rating on the stock. In the same interview, Colin Gillis, tech analyst for BCG Financial, said he’s “concerned about Apple going lower before it goes higher.”
“We’re seeing iPhone fatigue coming into developed markets. As their product gets older, and in front on an iPhone refresh you have to worry,” said Gillis.
While market expectations are for robust Chinese demand to drive Apple’s sales and make up for any developed market slack, Gillis isn’t so sure.
The largest Chinese telecommunication carrier caters to the less-wealthy part of the country, Gillis notes, which has him thinking Research and Motionand Nokia, each with cheaper price points, threaten to pick up scale in China.
“For Apple to increase scale in China is a very difficult proposition,” he concluded.
—By CNBC’s Jennifer Leigh Parker
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Toni Sacconaghi does not personally own shares of Apple, but his firm Sanford Bernstein currently makes a marked (matches buyers and sellers) in AAPL. Colin Gillis does not personally own AAPL shares either, but BCG and/or its affiliates expect to receive or intend to seek compensation for investment banking services within the next three months.
Follow Jennifer Leigh Parker on Twitter @jparker741 .