Apple Falls Sharply; RBC, Morgan Stanley Cut Ratings

Apple (AAPL) shares are down sharply Monday morning after analysts at RBC Capital and Morgan Stanley cut their ratings on the stock.

RBC Capital’s Mike Abramsky cut his rating on the stock to Sector Perform from Outperform; his price target on the shares is now $140, down from $200. He cut his FY 2008 EPS estimate to $5.26, from $5.28; for 2009 he goes to $5.75 from $6.07; for FY 2010 he’s now at $7.38, down from $8.03. Abramsky says his new more cautious stance reflects “a worsening consumer spending environment.” He says a recent survey RBC conducted with research firm ChangeWave found a drop in the number of consumers intending to buy Macs: 29 percent intend to buy Mac laptops in the next 90 days, down from 34 percent in August, while 26 percent intend to buy a Mac desktop, down from 30 percent. Abramsky says that is the biggest decline in those measures in 2.5 years.

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