Markets

Ongoing US China Trade War Causes Morgan Stanley To Slash Apple Price Target

Apple CEO Tim Cook

A Morgan Stanley analyst has cut the price target on Apple from $240 to $231 in a note to investors, according to a report by CNBC.

Analyst Katy Huberty did not change estimates for the company’s sales or profits, and said the price cut was founded on comparative companies’ performance.

“Given the risk of further restrictive trade measures … we expect shares to remain choppy, with a near-term floor around $160,” Huberty wrote.

Apple stock was trading around $177 on Thursday (May 30), and the stock has fallen 15 percent since the beginning of May.

This brings the total number of analyst price cuts for Apple to six, as the continued trade war with China continues to affect stock price.

Apple is particularly vulnerable to the trade war because the Chinese market, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, is its third largest. The company also manufactures a lot of things in China, so it would theoretically be hit hard with proposed tariffs.

“In the event Apple is unsuccessful in persuading the [U.S. trade representative] to remove key categories from the final list of taxed goods, Apple’s representative will have to submit a request for each particular product they’d like to be excluded, and provide a rationale as to why it should be excluded from the tariff list,” the note said. “The situation remains extremely fluid and we admit that quantifying the overall impact of geopolitical tensions on Apple is difficult given the unknowns around timing, demand impact, retaliatory measures, exclusions, etc.”

In other Apple News, three Apple customers have sued the tech company over what they say are privacy violations, claiming that Apple allegedly shared their listening habits with third parties.

The plaintiffs, who live in Michigan and Rhode Island, are trying to get class-action status for the lawsuit. If they win, Apple would be compelled to pay damages to the plaintiffs.

One of the allegations in the suit says the iPhone maker sold the plaintiff’s data to data brokers, who combined the information with other available data and then repackaged and resold it to marketing companies.

The lawsuit highlights direct marketing lists that classify certain consumers as “iTunes and Pandora music purchasers.” There is no direct evidence, however, that the purchasing data did not come from other means.

Another claim in the lawsuit involves the company giving iOS developers access to data stores on iPhones, iPads and iPods. This includes data about songs and albums that were bought from the iTunes store.

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