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Banc of America Cuts Apple to Neutral from Buy

Banc of America downgraded Apple Computer (AAPL) to neutral from buy, explaining that the company's stock has grown more expensive in recent weeks.

Analyst Keith Bachman still likes Apple's story, but the recent run-up of over 50% in last six weeks has left him less comfortable recommending putting new investment money to work in the stock. He says that if the stock were to pull back in the first half of 2005, he might take the opportunity to revisit his thesis. He believes the CPU side of Apple's business is tracking well against his model, but he has longer-term concerns about investor expectations for the iPod market and operating margins. He sees possible upside for inveseting in the stock to $80 per share, and downside to the mid-$60s. His target prices moves to $76 from $52 per share.

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