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Dan Niles says he wouldn’t touch Apple going into earnings

Hedge fund manager Dan Niles said Monday that he wouldn’t invest in Apple heading into its quarterly earnings given the high valuation. “I wouldn’t touch Apple,” Niles said on CNBC’s ” Closing Bell ” Monday. “This company was not growing revenues in 2019 … and don’t forget smartphone unit sales for the entire industry was down four years in a row.” Apple is slated to report fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. The tech giant is expected to post its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2019?s March quarter. The stock is up 10% this year following a near 27% sell-off in 2022. The founder and senior portfolio manager of the Satori Fund said the stock is still expensive following 2022’s decline. It is trading at 24 times forward earnings, much higher than the S & P 500, which is trading at around 18 times earnings, Niles said. “The market wasn’t growing before the pandemic, and people still like it because let’s face it, most of us are carrying an iPhone in our pocket,” Niles said. “You don’t want to confuse a product with a stock. And that’s a big mistake, especially if the multiple is high.” Apple gave a rare warning to investors last November, explaining that production issues would result in lower shipments than “previously expected.” “I think what you’re going to see is a digestion phase this year. You can walk in any store you want, pick up any iPhone you want, so it tells you that demand is not so strong that you’re stocked out,” Niles said.

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