Apple’s five-day losing streak, which wiped about more than 10% of the company’s market value, appears to be coming to an end.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) were up more than 2% in late afternoon trading Thursday.
The stock took a tumble this month because of growing concern about a slowdown in demand for its latest iPhones. It’s fallen 20% from its all-time high.
Apple told investors in its latest earnings report that it would no longer provide unit sales figures for the iPhone and other devices, leading Wall Street to speculate that sales may have peaked.
To make matters worse, a bunch of companies that make chips and other components used in iPhones lowered their forecasts, citing sluggish demand for high-end phones.
Several analysts slashed price targets and earnings estimates for Apple in the past few weeks.
Concerns about soft sales for iPhones may be hurting Apple’s overall digital sales.
Research firm eMarketer said in a report Thursday that it now expects Walmart (WMT) to overtake Apple as the third largest e-commerce firm in the United States because Apple’s sales growth is forecast to slow. Both companies trail Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY).
But one influential Wall Street analyst came out in defense of Apple Thursday.
Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty wrote in a report that the “supply chain noise” about Apple suppliers was creating a buying opportunity for the stock.
Huberty argued that investors are overreacting to the warnings from some components companies and “remain narrowly focused” on unit sales.
She thinks investors are forgetting that Apple’s services business, which includes things like the App Store, iCloud, Apple Music and Apple Pay, is growing more rapidly than most other Apple businesses.
The services division generated about $10 billion in sales last quarter.
That business – which features lucrative recurring subscription revenue – is much more profitable than the relatively low-margin business of selling phones and other hardware.