Apple may not meet its quarterly target: Analyst

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Apple Inc has a 25 percent chance of missing its quarterly revenue forecast as iPhone sales slow and Samsung launches its highly anticipated Galaxy S4 smartphone, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said.

Misek, who has previously raised red flags when Apple cut orders to suppliers, cut his iPhone sales estimate for the quarter ending March to 35 million from 37.5 million.

He cut his target price on Apple's stock to $420 from $500. Misek, who has drawn comparisons between Apple and fading handset makers such as BlackBerry and Motorola, had a price target of $900 on Apple shares in August.

"When handset makers fall out of favor they fall faster/further than expected," he said in a research note.

Apple's stock was down 1.8 percent at $430.20 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Misek said he expected Apple to report second-quarter revenue of $41 billion, at the low end of the company's own forecast of $41 billion to $43 billion.

Analysts on average expect current quarter revenue of $43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Apple missed Wall Street's revenue forecast for the quarter ended December 31 and disappointing holiday sales reinforced fears it was losing its dominance in smartphones.

The launch of the iPhone 5S may be delayed, said Misek who is rated four stars out of five by Thomson Reuters StarMine for the accuracy of his earnings estimates on Apple.

"Apple's suppliers are having problems with the new casing colors leading to a push out from Jun to Jul-Sep after Apple hoped to pull forward the update," he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2013

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