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Brexit Might Take a Bite Out of Apple Warns Citi Analyst

July 5, 2016, 7:57 PM UTC
Apple's New iPad Air Goes On Sale
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: A man stands in front of the Apple Store before it opened on the day the company will sell their new iPad Air, the fifth generation of its tablet on November 1, 2013 in New York City. The new iPad, which will also come in a mini version, is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the current fourth-generation iPad. It has the same 9.7-inch screen as previous iPads and uses the same A7 processing chip that's in the iPhone 5S. The iPad Air, which went on sale today, will start at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and go up to $629 for a 16GB with 4G LTE connectivity. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Much of Wall Street is expecting weak sales for the iPhone 7 coming out later this year—but that’s not the only trouble Apple will face in coming months, warns Citigroup.

A team of analysts led by Jim Suva projected in a Tuesday note that the tech giant’s earnings will likely come in below Wall Street’s expectations in part due to fallout from the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, and subsequent currency fluctuations.

Citi lowered its revenue estimates for Apple to $41.2 billion for the third quarter, down from Citi’s previous estimate and Wall Street consensus of $42.2 billion. Earnings per share were also reduced from $1.40 to $1.35.

“We are lowering our estimates for June and September quarters given potential for lower demand from macro uncertainty (Brexit related), currency volatility and lengthening replacement cycles (average replacement rate has gone from around 24 months in calendar year 2013 to about 28 months recently and our model implies replacement rates could extend to 30 to 36 months,” the group of Citi analysts wrote in the note.

About 13.2% of Apple’s revenue is exposed to the EU, while another 2.3% to the U.K., according to data from FactSet. Since the referendum though, the pound has reached a 31-year low against the dollar. That means U.K. citizens will have lower buying power—which could also dampen demand for Apple products on in the country.

Suva isn’t the only Wall Streeter to raise concerns about Brexit’s impact on Apple. Cowen and Co. wrote in a June note that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU represents a dot of near-term demand uncertainty.


Nevertheless, Citi maintained a “Buy” rating on the stock, with a price target of $115 a share.

“We believe the Apple ecosystem keeps customers in the Apple ecosystem, which does not end but rather begins with one product and generally results in additional future products,” Suva wrote. “We believe it is only starting to make progress in software and services that will help create and monetize a consumer and corporate installed base.”

Apple is expected to report earnings on July 26.