JP Morgan cuts price target of U.S. hardware companies

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 28, 2012 9:37 AM
JP Morgan cuts price target of U.S. hardware companies

(Reuters) - J.P. Morgan cut its price targets on 12 computer hardware stocks, including Apple Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co, citing weak IT spending in Europe, Middle East and Africa, uncertain growth in China and pressures from a strong U.S. dollar.

The brokerage cut its price target on Apple's stock — for the first time since 2009 — to $695 from $715.

However, strong iPhone unit sales partially counters lower growth assumptions for the iPad and Mac businesses beyond the near term, JPMorgan said.

The brokerage also cut its price target on Dell Inc's stock, the second time in as many months, to $17.50 from $19, saying the company is overexposed to personal computers segment.

"With smartphones and tablets gaining in stature, we think that PCs could take a backseat," analysts led by Mark Moskowitz said in a client note.

The analysts remained positive about IBM, EMC Corp and NetApp Inc, whose price targets it cut, saying these companies will be able to overcome macroeconomic challenges over the next six to 12 months.

HP could be hurt by its recent restructuring and management changes, in addition to weakening printing and services and PC business, the analysts said, cutting the price target on the company's stock to $22 from $23.

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"Given that these drivers are more macro-related in nature, we are not changing any of our stock ratings," said the analysts.

The brokerage also cut price targets on Western Digital Corp and Xerox Corp stocks.

(Reporting by Neha Alawadhi in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

(This story corrects the first paragraph to say that the brokerage cut its price targets on 12 stocks, not 18)