Apple is Getting Ditched in the Dark Days

With Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) finding itself deserted even by loyalists these past few months and its share price giving up to gravity, predictions for the stock market’s once-darling have also turned darker. According to a survey of several analysts by Fortune, the average price target for Apple’s stock has fallen to $740.

Who’s Giving Up?

Apple is down more than 27 percent since its highs of mid-September and watchers have blamed the drop on everything from the oncoming fiscal cliff-accompanied capital gains tax to concerns about iPhone sales and overall product margins. According to the survey, 11 of the 48 analysts polled lowered their Apple targets in the final weeks of the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2013, which ends Saturday.

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Some of the key cuts include that by Peter Misek of Jefferies, who dropped his price target from $900 to $800, and Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity, who trimmed it from $800 to $750. Misek said in a note to investors earlier this month that he believed the average selling prices for smartphones had peaked.

Who’s Not?

However, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets has stuck to his ultra-bullish target of $1,111, even reiterating it in a note sent out just last week. Other bullish targets include $900 from Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, $840 from Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu, and $800 from Ben Reitzes at Barclays Capital. According to the Fortune analysis, 30 of the 48 analysts expect Apple to hit somewhere between $700 and $800 before the end of 2013. But even with all the cuts, the average of $740 is $225, or 44 percent, above the company’s actual closing price of $515.06 on Thursday.

By comparison, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading 28 percent below its mean target, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is 13 percent below its mean, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) falls short by just 12 percent.

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