Apple appears to have recovered from shortages that reduced the availability of iPhone 14 Pro models during the holiday shopping season, a Wall Street analyst said Tuesday.
JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said his firm's channel checks indicate an improved supply of premium models of the latest iPhones. Covid pandemic lockdowns and worker protests in China in November and December had slashed the availability of those popular iPhone 14 models.
In a note to clients, Chatterjee said the supply of iPhone 14 Pro models has slowly improved and most varieties are now available for in-store pickup across all geographies for the first time since the product launched on Sept. 16.
"Lead times for the Pro models are now tracking in line with lead times seen prior to the Covid outbreak in Zhengzhou, China, suggesting that supply is improving and inching slowly towards parity with demand," he said. Apple's main iPhone factory is located in Zhengzhou.
JPMorgan tracks iPhone lead times and handset availability in the U.S., China, Germany and U.K.
Apple Stock Down After iPhone 14 Supply Problems
Chatterjee rates Apple stock as overweight, or buy, with a price target of 190. On the stock market today, Apple stock fell 1.4% to close at 130.03.
Apple's production and supply issues related to iPhone 14 Pro handsets led many analysts to slash their sales and earnings forecasts for the company's December quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet now expect Apple to earn $1.98 a share on sales of $123.5 billion in its fiscal first quarter. That would translate to year-over-year declines of 6% in earnings and a fraction for sales.
Apple stock has fallen 26.8% year to date through Tuesday's close. That compares with a 19.7% drop for the S&P 500 index.
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