|Rating the analysts on AAPL prospects is difficult unless you know what assumptions their predictions are based on. Are they using primarily technical analysis, fundamental analysis, or other methods? If one looks at value and management quality, AAPL doesn't look as overpriced as many other stocks, especially within the technology/consumer goods sector.|
One also has to consider that a very large market capitalization company is less likely to grow as fast as smaller firms, which has an impact on many professional analysts and may account for the lackluster response to what most people would agree was a very strong earnings report. Because Apple, moreover, is a component of many popular stock indexes, its performance is tied to overall index performance, which may include a lot of stocks that are not doing as well.
I believe what worries many analysts as well as economists is the prolonged weaknesses brought on by the pandemic, along with the impacts from unvaccinated people getting sick, whether in the U.S. or abroad. The longer the pandemic persists, the more likely that there will be supply shortages, uneven supply and demand, labor shortages, and inflation brought on partly by these factors. It is in every investor's interest that worldwide vaccination rates should increase rapidly, and soon, or else there could be even worse consequences.
Future issues, apart from those which are pandemic related, should include the impact of patent infringement actions on AAPL gross margins, which I believe could be considerable. Taking all these factors into consideration should help explain the current price of AAPL shares.