Apple Inc is now the most-shorted stock on Wall Street

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) ended more than 2.0% down this evening on reports that it was now the most-shorted stock on Wall Street.

Bernstein analyst explains why

Apple launched the new iPhone 14 only days ago on September 7th. Still, bets against the multinational topped $18 billion this week. Reacting to it on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, Toni Sacconaghi said:

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Market is typically anticipatory in advance of that new iPhone announcement. Then after it, it’s uncertain and tries to figure out if it’s going to be a good cycle or not, and the stock typically doesn’t do very well.

He’s a Senior Analyst at Bernstein.

In July, Apple reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal third quarter. Over a month later, though, it has replaced Tesla that remained the most-shorted U.S. stock for more than two years.

Apple shares are currently trading at a price-to-earnings multiple of 25.

Apple Inc to see a slower 2023

Sacconaghi is convinced the iPhone maker benefitted from the pandemic over the past two years. Naturally, therefore, it’ll see a slowdown next year now that the COVID restrictions have been removed. He noted:

Apple was a COVID beneficiary and we think the next year could be lower growth for Apple. So, we’re a bit more conservative and below consensus estimates both for the iPhone and for Apple overall for the next year.

Versus pre-pandemic, Apple Inc had its operating profit climb 60% in 2021.

Nonetheless, Sacconaghi has a price objective of $170 on the stock – more than a 10% upside from here. So, it may still be reasonable buying Apple shares here.

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